BHOPAL: The political environment in Madhya Pradesh is set to heat up with only one day left for the Rajya Sabha polling on three seats in the state. The
has called a crucial meeting of the legislature party on June 18 at 6 pm with two central observers, Prakash Javdekar and BL Panda, reaching here on Wednesday.
Interestingly, the BJP initiated a dinner diplomacy move ahead of the Rajya Sabha polling by inviting MLAs from
Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Independents. During the dinner at the BJP state office on Wednesday evening, BSP's Rambai Singh and Sanjeev Singh Kushwaha, Rajesh Shukla from SP and two Independent MLAs, Surendra Singh Shera and Vikram Singh Rana were also present with the BJP central leaders.
"This is a tradition in the party to invite all MLAs to an unofficial dinner. We have gathered here to discuss Rajya Sabha poll and also share other matters related to the party and development of the state," said BJP state president VD Sharma, who hosted the dinner.
He further stated that the official meeting of the MLAs will be held on June 18. However, he parried queries on the presence of non-BJP MLAs during the crucial poll preparations. "On BSP and SP I will not comment. It is already understood," said Sharma hinting at a possible alliance and support from the four MLAs who had been favouring Congress party during previous government regime.
When asked, Independent MLA Shera said, "I had gone to the BJP office for dinner. We will support the government. Will talk in detail later."
Apart from Javdekar and Panda, those present in the meeting included, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, state in-charge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, former state president Rakesh Singh, former LoP Gopal Bhargava, cabinet ministers Narottam Mishra, Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput among others. Around 50 BJP MLAs were also present.
The Rajya Sabha election will be a keenly contested affair after the BJP fielded two candidates - Jyuotiraditya
and Sumer Singh Solanki - for three seats. The Congress has also fielded two candidates, Digvijaya Singh and Phool Singh Baraiya.
During the meeting with the MLAs, the BJP observers will discuss the poll process through mock polling, precautions to be taken while voting and commitment towards the party. The BJP has also cautioned the MLAs to vote Jyotiraditya Scindia on first priority and Solanki on second. It was also discussed to garner support from the Congress MLAs who are willing to quit their party to join BJP, sources said.
BJP has 107 members in the house against 92 members from Congress. The BSP has two, SP has one while four MLAs are Independent. For one seat, a contestant needed to get support from 52 MLAs. In that situation the BJP is sure to win two seats.