Over 300 Congress leaders switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh on Monday, reported The Indian Express.
In a social media post, the BJP Madhya Pradesh unit said that Congress district chief in Vidisha Rakesh Katare and former Congress MLA from Tikamgarh Dinesh Ahirwar were among the leaders who switched sides in Bhopal.
Other leaders from Vidisha who joined the BJP are former Chhatarpur mandi vice president Kailash Dwivedi and Gaurihar Janpad president Tulsi Anuragi.
According to the BJP, the leaders were “impressed by the public welfare schemes” of the state government and the policies of the party.
In Gwalior, five sitting Congress councillors and district Youth Congress president Ajay Pal Yadav moved to the ruling party in the state. With this, the BJP’s tally in the Gwalior Municipal Corporation went up to 41.
“Congress leaders have grown weary of the lack of leadership as the party is gripped with infighting and Dijvijaya Singh has no impact in the region now,” Abhay Chaudhary, BJP Gwalior (urban) district president was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “They [Congress leaders] have confidence in Maharaj [Scindia]. Many senior leaders also want to join us.”
After the defections, BJP state unit chief VD Sharma said that the Congress was “in disarray” while his party’s graph was steadily rising.
Katare, on the other hand, said that he was unhappy about the Congress rejecting the invitation for the Ram temple inauguration in Ayodhya.
The Congress had decided to not attend the January 22 inauguration, stating that it was “clearly an RSS-BJP [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh/ Bharatiya Janata Party] event”.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the parent organisation of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh had said that the senior leaders of the Congress have respectfully declined the invitation while abiding by the 2019 Supreme Court judgement and honouring the sentiments of millions who revere the Hindu deity.
On February 7, Jabalpur Mayor Jagat Singh Annu quit the Congress to join the BJP after expressing dissatisfaction with the party leadership declining the consecration invite.
In Guna, Congress leader Sumer Singh also switched to the BJP, citing the same reason.
“I have always been with the Congress,” he said. “ I left the party as I was angry over the way it dealt with the Ram mandir [temple] event. He is our god and we express our love to him. I cannot be with a party which disrespects Ram. We cannot accept it.”