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BJP’s big guns to MP: Smriti Irani holds roadshow in Khajuraho in support of candidates

According to state BJP sources, PM Narendra Modi is likely to address a poll rally in MP’ s Jabalpur on April 7.

Screenshot 2024 04 04 102737BHOPAL: Ruling BJP’s big guns are now touring Madhya Pradesh, where Lok Sabha polls are slated in four phases starting with April 19.

A day after addressing prominent citizens in his wife’s home city Jabalpur, followed by a rally in Shahdol-ST constituency, party’s national president JP Nadda held a meeting to take stock of preparedness of five LS constituencies falling in Indore region.

On the other hand, union minister Smriti Irani (who is among the party’s 40 star campaigners for MP) addressed a rally before holding a roadshow in support of party candidate and state party chief VD Sharma (also sitting MP) in Khajuraho constituency, which covers parts of Bundelkhand and Vindhya.

According to state BJP sources, PM Narendra Modi is likely to address a poll rally in Jabalpur on April 7.

Addressing the rally before accompanying Sharma, Madhya Pradesh CM Dr Mohan Yadav and state’s cabinet minister Prahlad Patel in the roadshow, Smriti Irani took potshots at the Congress as well as the Samajwadi Party.

“The Congress has made it a habit of running away from the poll battlefield after seeing a certain defeat, which is what it has done here (Khajuraho). The first indication of Congress’s defeat is that the Congress has run away from contesting against the MP BJP president. The second indication of Congress’s defeat is that it has been left with no option, but to give this seat to that party (SP) which it couldn’t see eye to eye in the recent assembly polls in MP,” Irani said while addressing the rally.

“When SP got the seat from Congress, what did it do with that ticket? It changed it’s ticket from Khajuraho seat within a few days. Changing tickets is not surprising for a party, which changes its niyat (intentions) daily. I want to tell people here that voting for SP here means wasting your vote, voting SP means voting those forces which want to divide the nation, voting for SP means voting those who have looted tijori (chest) and still eye the chest.”

Taking a dig at the Congress and its former president Rahul Gandhi (whom she defeated in the 2019 LS polls from Gandhi-Nehru family’s bastion Amethi), Irani said, “I represent that constituency where once wearing the BJP turban was like bringing object of death to home, sporting a tilak and taking Ram Nam was like a political curse. But in the same constituency (Amethi) the hand (Congress symbol) was wiped out, while it’s associate cycle (SP symbol) was punctured. We live in an era of Vande Bharat Express and Bullet trains, but they (SP) still travel on cycle.”

The Khajuraho seat which covers eight assembly segments of three districts – Panna, Katni and Chhatarpur – has been won by the BJP eight times since 1989, including four times by the ex-CM Uma Bharti.

In 1999, however, Congress’s Satyavrat Chaturvedi won the seat, but lost in 2004 polls by 81,000-plus votes to BJP in a contest, where the third placed SP candidate had secured 86,000-plus votes.

The BJP has fielded its state president and sitting MP again from the seat. The Congress left the seat for SP as part of the seat sharing pact with the INDIA bloc partner. The SP first named its state secretary Manoj Yadav as its candidate from Khajuraho, but later changed the ticket and named ex-MLA from Niwari seat Meera Yadav as its nominee.

Importantly, the SP is focusing on the Khajuraho seat as part of its ambitious plans to penetrate deep into the Bundelkhand region which covers parts of UP and MP both.

According to informed sources, the SP has purchased a major tract of land on Khajuraho’s outskirts to build a major political base in the internationally famous tourist hotspot.

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