Two more Madhya Pradesh Congress vice-presidents quit party posts on Friday over ticket distribution amidst speculations that former Congress vice-president Manak Agrawal, who gave up his post on Thursday, could join the Bharatiya Janata Party.
This makes resignations from Congress party positions to three in two days. Those who quit on Friday are state unit vice-chiefs Govind Singh and Premchand Guddu.
But, what kept the rumour mills churning was the visit of senior BJP leader and PWD minister Sartaj Singh’s visit to Agarwal's Nishat Colony residence on Friday. Speculations did the rounds that the visit had something to do with Agarwal’s possible crossing over to the BJP camp.
However, both Sartaj Singh and Manak Agarwal gave the similar replies to put speculations at rest, which political observers called a calculated move to put pressure on the Congress leadership.
Agarwal said, "Our (His and Singh’s) families hail from Itarsi. I know him since childhood, but we have different political ideologies." In fact, Sartaj Singh also called it an "old pals’" meet. But, when asked whether his party would welcome Agarwal, Singh said, “If anyone comes to join the party, he is welcome. The Congress is on its decline."
Meanwhile, Govind Singh, who quit the party post on Friday, said he was upset that the ticket was given to Tejnarayan Shukla's sister-in-law Uma Shukla from Gohad despite the fact that Shukla was accused of Congress MLA Makhanlal Jatav's murder.
Talking to journalists, he even alleged that dedicated workers were being sidelined and threatened to sit on a dharna at the residence of party general secretary and MP in-charge Mohan Prakash if tickets were not re-distributed.
Singh has sent his resignation to AICC president Sonia Gandhi as well as PCC chief Arun Yadav.
The reason of former MP and party vice-president Premchand Guddu’s resignation has been his non-inclusion in election committee and the ticket to Qamruddin Nagori from Mahidpur. He said Nagori was given the ticket despite his known links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
However, senior party leaders called the development as "temporary as no leader has quit the party yet." They said the issues would be sorted out soon.