BHOPAL: Amid claims and counter claims by BJP and the ruling Congress over winning all the three seats of Rajya Sabha in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has mooted a well-planned strategy to woo disgruntled MLAs from the Congress and Independents, who had been seeking ministerial berth or a plum position but, could not succeed even after one year in power.
Sources in the saffron party disclosed that the BJP leadership has decided to promote names of only those candidates who are more acceptable among Independents, apart from BJP legislators. Party leaders believed that of the total three seats going vacant by the end of March, both Congress and BJP will get one seat each but, a tough competition for the third seat could not be ruled out.
“Our aim is clear. Every BJP worker is ready and prepared. We will win all the three Rajya Sabha seats,” BJP state chief VD Sharma, had said recently. However, Congress leaders have also made similar claims. “We are ready to prove ourselves. Congress will win all the three seats and BJP will lose severely in the elections,” claimed senior Congress leader and state cooperatives minister, Govind Singh, on Thursday.
Sources said that BJP is eyeing on some senior Independent MLAs and Congress disgruntled who had been denied a cabinet berth and also kept waiting since last one year in the appointments for boards and corporations. Supporters of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who have been endorsing his name for Rajya Sabha, may also support BJP if Scindia fails to get Rajya Sabha ticket, sources added.
“In Congres there are hundred claimants for one seat. Differences have come in open. One leader is saying that I will take to the streets, the other is targeting Chief Minister’s kitchen cabinet. Some are saying burecrates are running the government. Resentment among the Congress leaders show that the Kamal Nath government is in a constitutional crisis,” said Sharma, on Friday.
The BJP has 107 MLAs in the House while, Congress enjoys the majority with 114 MLAs. As per the reports, BJP and Congress have almost equal number of legislators in the assembly with Congress having majority support of seven more members. For one seat of Rajya Sabha, a party needs support from 58 MLAs. For the third seat, Congress has 56 MLAs while BJP has the support of only 49 party MLAs.
In this fight, Independent candidates would play a major role in electing the third Rajya Sabha member. In MP assembly, there are four Independent MLAs, two Bahujan Samaj Paraty (BSP) and one Samajwadi Party (SP) member. But, all of them have extended unconditional support to the Congress-led Kamal Nath government.
This makes the task difficult for BJP to retain the third seat.
Moreover, Congress being in power has lured a few BJP MLAs including, Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol, who last year had given a big jolt to the saffron party by voting in favour of an amendment bill. In this case, if they again extend their support to Congress, then BJP will have to face defeat.
BJP is keeping its fingers crossed to win the third seat. The party is also expecting more fissures in the Congress. BJP leaders believed that unless Congress is marred by differences and factionism, the saffron victory would remain a dream unfulfilled.


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