Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 9
The results of the Madhya Pradesh bypoll will be watched with interest as a battle of prestige will be fought between former Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his challenger Jyotiraditya Scindia who is now with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The outcome in MP should make a difference to the political careers of the two leaders from the state — Nath and Scindia — both of whom were together in the Congress till recently. Scindia joined the Congress in 2001, stepping into the shoes of his father Madhavrao Scindia who was killed in a plane crash. Since then, the younger Scindia attempted to carve out a place for himself in national politics. After representing the Guna Lok Sabha constituency since 2001, he lost the 2019 polls to the BJP, a party he joined this year.
The crossing over was more a message to the Congress of his unhappiness in ignoring his claims in the party or a larger role in MP. Belonging to the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior, there is more at stake for Scindia since a majority of 25 MLAs considered loyal to him resigned from the Kamal Nath government leading to its fall and the bypoll. A majority of these seats fall in the Gwalior-Chambal region where the Scindias traditionally had a major say.
On the other side, Kamal Nath who got the job of the Chief Minister will be eager to prove that he still has the fire in him to deliver a decisive blow to the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, which requires just nine MLAs to obtain a simple majority of 116 in a House of 230. After the exit of his 25 legislators, the Congress tally in the House stands at 87 with four Independents, two BSP and one SP legislator making up the rest.