MP: BJP, Congress MLAs hold meetings on eve of Rajya Sabha polls

Bhopal: On the eve of the Rajya Sabha elections for three seats from Madhya Pradesh, legislators of the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the state are holding meetings to finalise their strategies for the polls.
Both the parties have fielded two candidates each for the three seats of the Upper House of Parliament.
“We are going to hold lunch meetings with legislators. Lawmakers from each revenue division in the state will hold meetings separately,” a state BJP MLA said.
He expressed confidence that both their nominees – former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki – will win the polls.
Scindia parted ways with the Congress in March this year and joined the BJP.
After the scion of the Gwalior royal family and his camp switched sides to the BJP, the Congress-led government in the state collapsed.
The BJP has now nominated Scindia for a Rajya Sabha berth from the state.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said in March that his party could have easily sent Scindia to the Rajya Sabha (when he was in the party).
“But we could not have made him a cabinet minister. Only Modi-Shah can make (him) a cabinet minister, not us,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, a Congress MLA also said they were holding a meeting at the residence of state party president and former chief minister Kamal Nath to discuss their strategy for Friday”s Rajya Sabha polls.
The Congress has nominated party veteran Digvijaya Singh, who is seeking a second term in the Upper House, and Dalit leader from GwaliorChambal region Phool Singh Baraiya.
In the 230-member Assembly, the BJP currently has 107 MLAs and also enjoys the support of two legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party, one of the Samajwadi Party and two Independents, while the opposition Congress has 92 MLAs.
Currently, the effective strength of the House is 206, as 24 seats are lying vacant.
The Congress has already asked 54 of its MLAs to vote for Digvijaya Singh, who needs 52 votes to re-enter the Rajya Sabha, sources said.
However, a senior BJP leader claimed Digvijaya Singh”s re-entry into the Upper House would “benefit the saffron party” in the by-elections to 24 Assembly seats in the state.
“His win would give us ammunition to slam the Congress in the run up to the bypolls. We are going to tell the public how Digvijaya snatched away the chance of a Dalit (Baraiya) to reach the Upper House, the leader said on condition of anonymity.
In March, 22 Congress MLAs resigned following which the Kamal Nath-led state government collapsed.
This necessitated the by-elections for these 22 seats, most of them dominated by Dalit community members, and two others seats which fell vacant due to the demise of their sitting legislators.