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Voices for NOTA rise in Indore as Congress candidate withdraws

Senior BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan questioned the inclusion of Bam in the BJP within hours after withdrawal of papers on April 29.

Screenshot 2024 05 06 091918BHOPAL: Former Lok Sabha speaker and senior BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan has expressed surprise over the withdrawal of nomination by Congress candidate Akshay Kanti Bam from Indore Lok Sabha seat, embarrassing the ruling party.

Mahajan (81), who won the Indore seat for the BJP eight times in a row between 1989 and 2014, informed about getting phone calls from prominent people of Indore, who are saying they will vote for NOTA and not the BJP on May 13.

“I was surprised, unable to understand till now why it happened. In my 35 years of electoral politics in Indore, never has such an incident happened.

Our candidate and MP was poised to win the seat by a big margin. Then what was the need for it to happen?” Mahajan told reporters in Indore.

She also questioned the inclusion of Bam in the BJP within hours after withdrawal of papers on April 29.

“We can’t decline anybody who wants to join the party. But it always needs to be kept in mind that as the party grows bigger due to new people, its quality and structure of the organisation is maintained.

In Indore we’ve defeated many powerful Congress leaders in elections; the current Congress candidate wasn’t that big, then why did it happen?” Mahajan asked.

While declining to comment on Congress’s call to people of Indore to vote for NOTA to teach BJP a lesson, she said, “I’m getting phone calls from respectable and prominent citizens of Indore, who’re saying what happened isn’t good. They are saying that they won’t vote for the BJP, but instead press the NOTA option on the EVM. I’m convincing them by telling them that it’s the Congress candidate who has changed his mind and not the BJP candidate.”

MP minister and local MLA Kailash Vijayvargiya is believed to have played a key role in the April 29 incident.

Defending his decision to withdraw nomination, Bam said, “I withdrew the papers as the party organisation wasn’t supporting me on the ground. I was forced to cancel campaigning on many days due to the party’s non-cooperation.”

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