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Politics

Three More Madhya Pradesh BJP Leaders, Including a Scindia Loyalist, Join Congress

One of the leaders, Pramod Tandon, said that the BJP treated entrants from other parties as “untouchables”.

New Delhi: Three more Madhya Pradesh BJP leaders joined the Congress party on Saturday (September 23). They are Pramod Tandon, Ramkishore Shukla and Dinesh Malhar.

They were inducted into the party in the presence of state unit chief and former chief minister Kamal Nath in Indore.

Pramod Tandon is known for his association with state BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. He was part of a group of Congress leaders led by Scindia in March 2020 that defected to the BJP.

Twenty-two Madhya Pradesh MLAs from the Congress were part of this group. Their defection led to the fall of the Congress government in the state and the subsequent swearing-in of BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan as chief minister.

Tandon told Hindi newspaper Amar Ujala that the BJP treated entrants from other parties as “untouchables”.

He was made a member of the state BJP’s working committee but resigned recently, PTI reported, adding that he was said to be a Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist.

PTI also reported that Samandar Patel, another BJP working committee member who joined the Congress recently, said that Tandon was the sixth person from the Scindia ‘camp’ to have re-joined the Congress.

Ramkishore Shukla and Dinesh Malhar have been part of the BJP for a longer time.

The former told Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar that the BJP did not give opportunities to local candidates.

Malhar said at a press conference that the “BJP is no longer the party that used to respect its workers who toiled to strengthen its base,” the Times of India reported.

In the past few months, several BJP leaders, both big and small, have quit the party and joined the Congress, some with plenty of fanfare. Some estimates put the number at 40.

These include the sitting BJP MLA from Kolaras in Shivpuri, Virendra Raghuvanshi; former MLA Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat; former MP from Khargone Makhansingh Solanki; three-time former MLA and former cabinet minister Deepak Joshi; and veteran leader and former two-time MLA Girija Shanker Sharma.