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Big blow to Congress in Madhya Pradesh as 6-time MLA Ramniwas Rawat joins BJP

Ramniwas Rawat and Mayor Sharda Solani, both joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, state chief VD Sharma, and former home minister Narottam Mishra during an election rally in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 30, 2024 16:36 IST
6-time MLA Ramniwas Rawat quits Congress and joins the BJP,
Image Source : ANI 6-time MLA Ramniwas Rawat quits Congress and joins the BJP, in Sheopur, in the presence of CM Mohan Yadav.

Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha Election 2024: In a big blow to Congress, its 6-time MLA, Ramniwas Rawat on Tuesday quit the Grand Old Party and joined the BJP in the presence of CM Mohan Yadav in Sheopur. The development has come as the high-stakes Lok Sabha elections are underway in the country. Rawat joined the saffron camp along with his 10,000 supporters.

Rawat, 64, was one of the prominent Congress leaders in the Gwalior-Chambal region, who won six Assembly elections from Vijaypur between 1990 and 2023.

Who is Ramniwas Rawat?

Ramniwas Rawat represented Madhya Pradesh's Vijaypur constituency in 1990, 1993, 2003, 2008, and 2013. In 1998, Rawat was defeated by BJP's Babulal Mewra by over 6,000 votes.

In 2018 Assembly polls, BJP candidate Seetaram defeated Ramniwas Rawat by a margin of 2,840 votes.

Ramniwas Rawat induction into the BJP took place when Rahul Gandhi was addressing an election rally in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district.

In 2019, Rawat contested Lok Sabha election against BJP's Narendra Singh Tomar but was defeated by a margin of 1,13,341 votes.

Rawat is the second sitting Congress MLA to quit the party and join the BJP since the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections on March 16. On March 29, Congress MLA from the Amarwada Assembly segment in Chhindwara, Kamlesh Shah, who was considered close to ex-CM Kamal Nath, joined the BJP.

Sources said that Rawat was upset with the state Congress leadership under Jitu Patwari.

Taking a jibe at the Congress, former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "We welcome Ramniwas Rawat into the BJP family. No one wants to stay in Congress anymore."

The fresh jolt came a day after the Congress candidate from the Indore Lok Sabha seat, Akshay Kantilal Bam, withdrew his nomination, giving almost a walkover to the BJP candidate and sitting MP, Shankar Lalwani.

The Vijaypur Assembly segment falls under the Morena Lok Sabha constituency, the home district of BJP veteran and Assembly Speaker Narendra Singh Tomar.

Polling in Morena and Bhind Lok Sabha seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region along with Vidisha, Bhopal, and two other seats will be held in the third phase on May 7.

ALSO READ | Akshay Kanti Bam, Congress candidate from Indore, withdraws nomination in another blow to party

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