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MP: After by-poll debacle, lobbying starts in Cong for electing Leader of Oppn

After the recent defeat in the two by-polls in Madhya Pradesh, the state leadership of the Congress is being questioned, especially of state party chief Arun Yadav and acting Leader of Opposition in the assembly Bala Bachchan.

bhopal Updated: Nov 26, 2016 09:12 IST
Neeraj Santoshi, Bhopal
MP by-polls,Leader of Opposition,MP assembly
When Bala Bachchan was targeted, surprisingly the BJP legislators and state cabinet ministers came to his support.(HT photo)

After the recent defeat in the two by-polls in Madhya Pradesh, the state leadership of the Congress is being questioned, especially of state party chief Arun Yadav and acting Leader of Opposition in the assembly Bala Bachchan.

Following the death of Satyadev Katare on October 20, a race has started within the state Congress on who will be the next Leader of Opposition in the assembly.

Frontrunners for the post are Ajay Singh, Govind Singh, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda, Ram Niwas Rawat among others, Congress sources said.

Ajay Singh, who is a six-time legislator, held the post from April 2011 to November 2013. The Congress is likely to select the party’s leader in the assembly before the winter session commences on December 5, some of the said.

The two by-elections for the assembly segments-Bandhavgarh in Umaria and Attar in Bhind- in the coming days, will be a litmus test for the Congress that who has already suffered defeat in the recent by-polls. Against this backdrop, the selection of who will lead the party in the assembly, now assumes significance.

Besides the central leadership of the Congress is not happy with the defeat in the Nepanagar assembly by-polls, more so as Bala Bachchan hails from the region.

The Congress is worried about the two by-elections in March. The Attar assembly seat fell vacant after Satyadev Katare passed away October 20 after battling with lung cancer.

The by-polls for the Bandhavgarh seat have been necessitated due to Gyan Singh winning the Shahdol Lok Sabha seat. Singh was sitting legislator from assembly segment.

Bachchan has been accused of being soft in the assembly

The Congress leadership, especially Bachchan has been accused of being soft in the assembly.

Even Digvijaya Singh questioned the silence of the Congress leadership in the assembly in July through a tweet this year on the alleged corruption in the Simhastha fair.

When Bachchan was targeted, surprisingly the BJP legislators and state cabinet ministers came to his support, saying that he was “a good Leader of Opposition” and a conspiracy was being hatched to remove him his post.

Speaking to Hindustan Time, acting Leader of Opposition Bachchan said : “The central leadership of the party will seek the opinion of Congress legislators and only after that a decision will be taken.”

On the allegations that his is not aggressive in the assembly, Bachchan said he has been acting leader of the House for the last five sessions.

“Earlier the BJP did not allow the House to function with frequent disruptions. After that I decided to move in such a way that the House functioning was not disrupted. Under my leadership, the House functioned without much disruptions,” he said.

First Published: Nov 26, 2016 09:12 IST