BJP youth leader to take on Cong. veteran

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party has placed its bet on political greenhorn Bhanu Bhuria to throw a challenge for veteran Kantilal Bhuria in the Jhabua by-election, in a bid to halt the Congress waltz barely two steps away from a majority in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.The 10-month tenure of the Congress government has laid bare the party’s competing power centres, which were cobbled up for convenience to shore up the government the party secured after 15 years. And now, an implosion within the State unit seems impending. Farmer distress BJP’s Bhanu Bhuria, 36, plans to take on five-time MP and former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria, 69, by raking up festering fault lines within the State Congress, farmer distress, shoddy flood relief and loan waiver in the State, ahead of the contest on October 21. “Despite being a tall leader, he couldn’t get any scheme for the region’s poor tribals when he was a Minister at the Centre and the State,” Mr. Bhanu, district president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, told The Hindu. The by-election became imminent after BJP MLA G.S. Damor wrested the Congress bastion of Ratlam in the Lok Sabha election. In both the Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha elections, he embarrassed the Congress Bhurias — first Vikrant, and then father Kantilal. A win in the by-election could take the Congress just a step away from the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member House. Furthermore, it will help it ward off the persisting BJP offensive calling out its supposed minority in the Assembly. Mr. Damor’s resignation brought down the BJP’s tally to 108.“The youth have understood the Congress ploy of making false promises,” said Mr. Bhanu, whose sway in the Ranapur and Kalyanpur rural areas may help the BJP tide over the Congress stranglehold on villages. Recently, the BJP turned the campaign pitch shriller with Leader of the Opposition Gopal Bhargava terming by be-election a contest between India and Pakistan. Playing it safe, the BJP has dropped Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur from the list of star campaigners. And the Congress has stabled State Minister Umang Singhar and Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists, although 40 leaders, including party interim president Sonia Gandhi and leader Rahul Gandhi and 10 State Ministers, are slated to lead the campaign trail. Mr. Singhar had earlier made the Congress nervous by accusing former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh of trying to destabilise the State government. Despite his popularity among the Bhil tribe, Mr. Singhar has been given a short shrift. His aunt, Jamuna Devi, a former Deputy CM, galvanised tribals for the Congress. Meanwhile, Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti, on organisation of tribal youth, has announced its support for the Congress. And even ticket expectant and former MLA Javier Medha has pledged support for Mr. Kantilal.last_img

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