October 16, 2021

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Ensure Scindia loyalists victory or face action, BJP warns its leaders

Team Absolute|Bhopal Less than a week after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan warned BJP leaders to work in unity to ensure party’s victory in the upcoming by-polls, BJP general secretary BL Santhosh has issued a similar warning to assembly prabharis, saying the onus is on them to ensure that all BJP candidates, including loyalists of former Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia, win from their respective seats. Santhosh said that if a candidate fails to win, assembly in-charges should be ready to face action, according to BJP leaders. He issued the warning during a review meeting held on Wednesday with assembly in-charges and members of the party’s by-poll management committee. Bhupendra Singh, the state minister for urban development and the in-charge of the by-poll management committee, said: “The meeting was to review the preparedness of the by-polls and assessment of the campaign. Some ministers have been assigned a particular constituency and everyone has an accountability that was reviewed by Santhosh in the meeting.” The by-polls will be held on 27 seats, but their dates have not been announced yet. BJP leaders said that Santhosh’s outburst came at time when reports emerged from a few poll-bound areas where leaders, specially the party’s old guard, are not actively working for the by-polls as they aren’t happy to cede ground to Scindia loyalists. After these reports surfaced, the party’s central leadership sent Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to Gwalior to win over BJP leaders of the region. “This election is an election for survival of the BJP government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Here candidates are inconsequential but everyone has to work for the party. This is the primarily responsibility of the ministers (who are assembly incharges) to ensure victory (of the candidates). Ministers’ performance will be evaluated on the victory and defeat of candidates. If any candidate loses election, their efforts will be marked as negative,” a BJP leader quoted Santhosh as saying in the meeting.TheBJP leader said that Santhosh took exception to those leaders who are not actively campaigning for the by-polls. Former BJP MP Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, party leaders Maya Singh and Lal Singh Arya all of whom are assembly in-charges were present at the meeting. Sources said these leaders have not been actively involved in poll campaigning. Pawaiya had even aimed a cryptic tweet at Scindia last month. There was also the mention of Anoopur seat in Dewas district where party leader Ramlal Rautela is not campaigning actively for the candidate, a Scindia loyalist, a second BJP leader said. Rautela had fought the last assembly election from the seat. During the meeting, Santhosh also told the in-charges to focus on nine Dalit seats where party has got less votes in the last election, sources said. Notably, last Sunday, while taking stock of the poll preparations, CM Chouhan told party MPs and MLAs that their stature will remain intact until the time the party’s government is in the state. “Only publishing letterheads and wearing malas (garlands) will not help the party. Work among people, there is still time. We need 100 per cent results, forget resentment and concentrate on the by-poll only. There is no other work until the by-poll. We can’t lose seats,” the CM had said.

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