The Madhya Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to give tickets for the upcoming Assembly bye-elections to former Congress MLAs, who helped the saffron party wrest power in March, its state president told ANI on Wednesday.

“These are people who had left their ministerial berths and posts as MLAs to save Madhya Pradesh from corruption and poor administration,” Madhya Pradesh BJP chief VD Sharma said. “I would not be wrong in saying that these people had sacrificed themselves and their posts for the state. So, for this reason, all of them are in consideration for the candidature.”

He said the final decision will be taken by the central leadership of the BJP. Assembly bye-polls will be held for 24 seats at a date yet to be determined by the Election Commission.

The Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh fell in March after 22 MLAs, considered close to former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned. They later joined the BJP. Scindia had joined the saffron party on March 11 and was named the party’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh.

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath for the post on March 23. The next day, he won a trust vote in the Assembly, from which all Congress MLAs absented themselves. MLAs from the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and independents voted in favour of the motion.

The Assembly bye-polls are likely to be held in September, ANI reported. Despite a nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has affected over 1 lakh people so far, the BJP has already begun preparations for the polls. “We will reach people through online mediums and door-to-door campaign will be done by keeping physical distancing and following other health measures,” he claimed.

Sharma claimed that BJP workers are no less than “corona warriors” because they have been serving the people while “endangering their lives”. He said that a BJP corporator from Ujjain died of Covid-19 while serving people.

BJP serves notice to politician, he claims he left party in February

Meanwhile, the BJP served a notice to Premchand Guddu, who had joined the party ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections, for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Scindia, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

Guddu allegedly called Scindia and his family “conspirators”. He said that Scindia’s father Madhavrao Scindia deceived the Congress and fought an election separately. He had also reportedly said that his grandmother Rajmata Scindia had toppled the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh decades ago.

Responding to the notice, Guddu said he left the BJP on February 9, Dainik Bhaskar reported. He alleged that instead of combating coronavirus, the BJP decided to conduct “Operation Lotus” in Madhya Pradesh to topple the Nath-led government. “Since I am not a primary member of the BJP, you have no right to issue me notice,” he said.