The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh expelled 53 rebel leaders from the party for "indiscipline" on Thursday. In a major action taken against the turncoats ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, BJP has removed senior leader Sartaj Singh, former minister Ramkrishna Kusmaria and Bhind MLA Narendra Kushwaha from the party.
Singh, who defected to the Congress after being denied ticket from the Seoni-Malwa constituency cried in public after his name did not figure in BJP's list of candidates. The two-time MLA then joined the Congress last week and was immediately named as the Opposition party's nominee for the Hoshangabad Assembly seat. Whereas, Kusmaria announced that he will contest as an independent.
Former Gwalior mayor Samiksha Gupta, Lata Mehsaki, Dheeraj Pateria and Raj Kumar Yadav were also shown the door. Gupta has herself announced that she has quit the party and will be contesting the 28 November elections as an independent candidate.
Both the BJP and the Congress are with facing rebellion within party ranks over displeasure with the ticket distribution. However, both the national parties went into damage-control mode and asked the rebels to withdraw from the elections.
Madhya Pradesh has a 230-member Assembly and sources from both parties believe that these rebels could prove to be the decisive factor in at least 30-odd seats.
While the Congress has been out of power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003, the incumbent Shivraj Singh Chouhan government is seeking a fourth straight term in power. Results for the single phase Assembly elections will be announced on 11 December along with counting in four other states including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls on 28 November in a single-phase election. Results will be declared on 7 December.
Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 10:02:19 IST