RS election: Cong leaders tense during CLP meeting in Bhopal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jun 06, 2016 21:16 IST
Vivek Tankha and Suresh Pachauri at PCC office during a special meeting for Rajya Sabha election, in Bhopal on Monday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT photo)

There were tense faces on Monday evening during the Congress legislature party meeting held at Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) headquarters in Bhopal. The reason being one of the party MLAs Dinesh Ahirwar was absent in the meeting without intimating the party leaders.

The meeting assumed significance as the top party leaders in the state assembled to chalk out the party’s strategy to win one of the three Rajya Sabha seats for which senior Supreme Court lawyer Vivek Tankha has been fielded.

Those who attended the meeting include senior party leaders Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Mohan Prakash, Suresh Pachauri, Kantilal Bhuria and Rajendra Singh.

Even after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s support to the Congress nominee the party is not taking any chance and making all out efforts to ensure all the party MLAs reach Bhopal ahead of the polling and cast their votes on June 11, the day of polling.

Congress has 57 MLAs in the state assembly while the BSP has 4. The party nominee needs 58 votes to win the seat. But more than the BSP’s support what is the matter of major concern in the party is apprehension regarding absence of Satyadev Katare and Govardhan Upadhyay who are ailing and Ramesh Patel who is in jail. Equally disturbing phenomenon for the party is possible defection of Dinesh Ahirwar. Another Congress MLA Yadvendra Singh couldn’t attend the meeting due to some family problem.

However, except Dinesh Ahirwar all other MLAs, four in number, who were absent had informed the state party president about their not being able to attend the meeting.

The party discussed the election scenario. The party leaders exuded confidence that they would win the election. The party has already moved the high court to seek a direction to Election Commission of India to allow Katare and Patel to cast their votes through postal ballot or messengers.

The leaders stressed the need of training particularly the first time MLAs how to cast their votes so that their votes don’t go waste.

As per party sources, former union minister Kamal Nath will take care of overall election management while the state Congress president Arun Yadav will see the floor management.

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