Nath said 26 of these seats “were held by the Congress” and the bypolls were about the Congress versus the BJP’s organisational strength. “In the last four-and-a-half months, I have done nothing else but build the Congress organisation in these seats,” he told ET.
The Congress lost power early this year, after the 25 MLAs, belonging to the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp, left the party and joined the BJP. In the other two constituencies going to polls, the MLAs — one belonging to the Congress and the other to the BJP — had passed away.
The Congress currently has 89 seats in the assembly and needs to win all the 27 going to polls to return to power on its own. The party could stake claim even if it wins fewer seats, provided it gets the support of the four independents and three MLAs belonging to the BSP and Samajwadi Party who had earlier backed the Congress but supported the BJP in the recent Rajya Sabha polls after Congress lost power.
“These MLAs (independents, BSP and SP) had never gone away. I am sure that they are with me,” Nath said.
The former CM asked the BJP “to name even four seats that they can win”, and said people would compare his 15 months in power with the 15 years of BJP rule. “I had less than a year due to the model code of conduct (during the 2019 parliament elections). A canard has been spread that my government did not waive farmer loans. I have names and details of each of the 26.5 lakh farmers in the state whose loan was waived,” Nath told ET.
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has claimed the BJP would sweep all 27 seats.
“Nobody has contested more elections and won more elections than me. Nobody has conducted more elections as I have as (Congress) general secretary, from Odisha to Goa. So, I know what elections are,” Nath told ET.
He said these bypolls were about determining whether the works he did or “the BJP’s politics of deal-making and auction” that matter.
Insiders in the Congress said the independents and BSP-SP MLAs had voted for the BJP in the Rajya Sabha elections as they wanted work to be done in their constituencies during the new regime and since their vote for the Congress then would have made no difference to the party’s chances of sending a second candidate to the upper house of Parliament. "They had consulted Nath then," a party leader said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The party hence expects them to be back if it wins 21-22 seats in the bypoll and gets in a position to form the government.
The party is also dismissing the Scindia factor in the Gwalior-Chambal region, where 17 of the bypoll seats are located. “Out of the eight seats in his then Lok Sabha constituency of Guna, Scindia won only three seats for the Congress and then lost his Lok Sabha seat too. Even the BJP is not pinning their hopes on him. The Congress won in that region (27 out of 34 seats in 2019) as Jatav votes shifted to us after the Dalit protests on April 2, 2018 … Scindia was not the attractor for votes there,” the party leader cited earlier said.
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4 Comments on this Story
sandeepan pahari175 days ago
Everyone has a democratic right to daydream and feel good about themselves - even Kamal Nath ......ha ha ha
Adil 175 days ago
You boot lickers-better start some Chena Masala shops. Even that also, people will reject.
Vivek Tripathi175 days ago
But Congress too didn't respect people mandate in Maharashtra. let kamalnath explain this. what will happen of he looses even after working 4 months building organization in bypoll constituency.