Prahlad Patel, a former confidant of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharati, is set to return to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), perhaps on Saturday, party sources said on Friday.
If that happens, the BJP may field Patel against Congress leader and central Commerce Minister Kamal Nath like it did in 2004. But Patel had lost then.
BJP leader Kailash Joshi, party sources said on Thursday night discussed with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar the issue of Patel's return to BJP.
Patel, the sources said, has sought "a dignified return" to the BJP. He led the breakaway group of Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS) for more than a year after his rift with Uma Bharti.
The BJP won 25 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2004.