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MP bypolls: Give a befitting reply to BJP govt, says Jyotiraditya Scindia

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia held a series of road shows and rallies on the last day of campaigning ahead of the February 24 bypolls in Kolaras and Mungaoli.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2018 23:35 IST
Ranjan and Neeraj Santoshi
Ranjan and Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Kolaras/Mungaoli
Jyotiraditya Scindia,Shivraj Singh Chouhan,Madhya Pradesh bypolls
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia with Kamal Nath and tribal leader Kantilal Bhuria take part in a road show before public meeting ahead of Kolaras bypoll, in Madhya Pradesh.(PTI Photo)

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday asked voters in Kolaras and Mungaoli to give a befitting reply to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming by-elections in the two constituencies, accusing the ruling party in Madhya Pradesh of rampant corruption and indifference towards farmers.

Scindia held a series of road shows and rallies on the last day of campaigning ahead of the February 24 bypolls, which are being watched keenly because they are the last electoral battle between the Congress and the BJP before the assembly elections expected this November or December.

Late on Thursday evening, a group of Congress leaders, including Kolaras candidate Mahendra Singh Yadav, said they were attacked by police when they tried to check a car suspected to be carrying a large amount of cash allegedly for the BJP.

Yadav sustained injuries in the police lathi charge. The Congress workers sat in protest outside the collectorate. The BJP was yet to respond to the charges.

One of the hallmarks of the Congress campaign has been the unity displayed by the party leadership in taking on the BJP, which has been in power in the state for the last 14 years. Scindia, the Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha, and former Union minister Kamal Nath took part in rallies in the two constituencies. Both the seats were held by the Congress, and bypolls were necessitated because of the deaths of sitting MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda in Mungaoli and Ram Singh Yadav in Kolaras.

Underlining that the fight in the two constituencies was between Shivraj Singh Chouhan and him, Scindia said he had resolved to dislodge the BJP government in the state after the death of five farmers in police firing in Mandsaur last year.

Addressing a large gathering in Kolaras, Scindia quipped that such was the extent of illegal sand mining under the current administration that the day was not far when it would be distributed from PDS shops.

“Corruption is at its peak. Thanks to the Vyapam scam, a talented child from a poor family cannot get a job but an untalented child of a rich can easily get a job. ‘Munnabhais’ were not made only in movies but in real life in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Nath, the MP from Chhindwara, said if the Congress was voted to power in the state in 2018, a commission would be set up to look into the nexus of bureaucrats with the BJP leaders and those found guilty would be punished. Scindia, under whose parliamentary constituency both the assembly segments fall, reminded voters of his family’s long association with the people of the region and said various development projects were brought to the area.

“The BJP government hardly thought of development in the region in the past 14 years. But the CM and his entire cabinet have been moving around here for the past five months as if the CM wished to shift the state capital to Kolaras. If the bypoll had been delayed for two months more, the entire Vallabh Bhavan (state secretariat) would have come here,” Scindia said.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 22:27 IST