9 Feb 2024

Madhya Pradesh: Will Congress stalwarts like Kamal Nath, Tankha, Nakul join BJP? Leaders close to them have joined saffron fold

Bhopal: Before the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha elections, there are indications of major changes and disruptions in the politics of Madhya Pradesh. BJP is preparing to make a big dent in Congress. Sources say that one-third of Congress MLAs will leave the party including former CM Kamal Nath and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha and a beginning has been made from Jabalpur. Two Congress leaders have already joined BJP. They were considered close to Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Tankha.

In a big jolt to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh just a couple of months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Jabalpur Mayor Jagat Singh Annu left the party to join the ruling BJP on Wednesday, saying he was upset with the Congress since it declined the invitation for the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony in Ayodhya last month.

Annu was considered close to Nath

Annu quitting the party is significant as he was the first Congress Mayor in Jabalpur in 18 years. His leaving the party is a big jolt for Congress in Mahakaushal as he was also considered close to former CM Kamal Nath and another senior party leader Vivek Tankha.

Along with Annu, several other Congress leaders – including Dindori’s district panchayat president Rudesh Paraste and vice-president Anju Jitendra Beohar, Singrauli’s district panchayat vice-president Archana Singh – joined the BJP. Their joining the BJP is being seen as BJP’s attempt to further weaken the Congress and strengthen saffron party's prospects in the Lok Sabha elections-2024.

Digvijaya Singh's loyalist also switched to BJP

Meanwhile, in Guna, Congress leader Sumer Singh, a known loyalist of former CM Digvijaya Singh, also switched to the BJP, giving the same reason as Annu.

Sumer said he left Congress as he was angry over the way it refused to take part in the Ram Mandir event. He said I can’t be with a party which disrespects Ram. We can’t accept it, he said.

According to the strategy prepared by the BJP, there will not be a single Congress member from Madhya Pradesh in the Parliament. Even in the elections for the vacant seats of Rajya Sabha to be held this month, the BJP is not ready to concede even a single seat to the Congress.

Sources revealed that in Madhya Pradesh, wherever Congress mayors, municipal presidents and district panchayat presidents and councilors are in power, BJP is making continuous efforts to bring them into the saffron fold. 

Tankha's close aide Shashank Shekhar in BJP

Only a day after Annu joined BJP, Congress suffered another big setback in Mahakaushal. Former Advocate General Shashank Shekhar formally took membership of the party. Shashank Shekhar was the Advocate General in the Kamal Nath government and is also considered very close to Vivek Tankha. It was Vivek Tankha who made him Advocate General in Kamal Nath government. Shashank Shekhar has represented Congress in many legal cases and was made the Advocate General of MP in 2022. 

Thus in the last few days, many Congress leaders have joined BJP. Prominent among them are former Morena MLA Rakesh Mavai, former Shivpuri District President Param Singh Rawat, Jabalpur Mayor Jagat Bahadur Singh Annu, former Advocate General Shashank Shekhar, Dindori District Panchayat President Rudresh.

Kamal Nath, Nakul Nath, Tankha will leave Cong?

For the last three-four days, the speculations are rife that Kamal Nath, his son MP Nakul Nath and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha may leave the Congress. No one has confirmed this but the sources have expressed such possibilities. After Jagat Bahadur Singh, Ekta Thakur, Shashank Shekhar took membership of BJP, such speculations have gained a lot of strength.

If MP Vivek Tankha joins BJP, only Digvijaya Singh from Madhya Pradesh will be left in Rajya Sabha. If Nakul Nath leaves Congress, there will not be a single Congress member from Madhya Pradesh in the Lok Sabha.

Not a single RS member of Cong will be elected from MP as per BJP plans

Five seats of Madhya Pradesh are falling vacant in Rajya Sabha. Nomination and voting is to be held this month. According to the current membership, one seat was going to go the Congress. According to the strategy made by BJP, if one-third of the members leave the Congress, then not a single Rajya Sabha member of the Congress will be elected from Madhya Pradesh.

It is quite possible from the way Congress leaders and functionaries are leaving the party in Madhya Pradesh and joining BJP.


Congress leaders and workers find it hard to believe that Kamal Nath and Vivek Tankha can leave the Congress. But the way things are developing, it is now being said that anything can happen.

The strategy made by Madhya Pradesh BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections seems to be on the right track. If so many senior Congress leaders leave the party and switch sides, then how will Congress contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This can be easily understood.

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