Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

BJP can win polls by calling up the collector, says MP minister,

Team Absolute|Bhopal Madhya Pradesh Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Imarti Devi’s claim that an election could be won by the BJP by just calling up the collector (of the district in which the constituency falls) has sparked a controversy. “We (BJP) have to win just eight seats and they (Congress) will have to win all 27 seats to come back to power. Will the ruling party lower its guards to such an extent that they will win all seats? The party in power is so powerful that it can call up the collector to say it wants to win a seat and will win it,” she told at a small gathering, the video of which has gone viral. It is, however, not clear when and where Devi made these remarks. In the 230-member MP assembly, the BJP has 107 seats while the Congress has been reduced to 89 seats after 25 MLAs resigned and joined the BJP. By-elections to 27 seats, including two vacant seats caused by deaths, is due. One more Congress MLA died Tuesday, but the seat is yet to be declared vacant. Devi, a loyalist of former Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia whose rebellion brought down the Congress government in March, will have to win an election to validate her stay in office. Reacting to Devi’s remarks, spokesperson of MP Congress Narendra Saluja said: “One can understand how the BJP wants to win the by-elections by misusing power.” Saluja, who is also the media coordinator of former chief minister Kamal Nath, said the party would lodge a complaint with the EC. BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal, however, called it a “Congress conspiracy”, saying that the “minister has denied making that statement”. He also said she won the last election (in 2018 as a Congress candidate) when the BJP was in power. Devi, who always wears her loyalty to Scindia on her sleeves, even said in March this year she would jump into the well if her leader asked her to.On 26 January 2019, Devi, who held the same portfolio in the previous government, fumbled while reading the Republic Day speech and, after making a slew of mistakes in less than a 30-second standing nearby, to take over and read out the written speech.However Imarti Devi while talking to media persons on Thursday in Bhopal on the sidelines of an official programme said, “I only reacted to the Congress’ claims that they were going to win all 27 (28 after the demise of Biaora MLA) seats in the upcoming by-polls in the state. This is not going to happen. We all MLAs are strong enough to wrest the seat from the Congress and register our victory.” When asked about Congress leader Kamal Nath’s Gwalior tour that is likely to begin from September 18, she said, Kamal Nath cannot make a difference to the BJP’s winning spree.

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