Bhopal: The October 21 byelection in Jhabua (ST) assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh, considered crucial for ‘minority’ Kamal Nath government, is poised for a fierce battle between the old war horse of Cong-ress Kantilal Bhuria, a veteran of seven Lok Sabha and four assembly elections, and rookie Bhanu Bhuria of BJP.
The former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria (69) has been chosen over Javier Medha, an aspirant for party ticket for Jhabua, as Congress candidate for the crucial bypolls owing to his nearly four-decade-long association with the constitutents.
“The byelection may decide fate of Nath government. Hence, the party has banked on its old war horse Mr Bhuria to wrest the seat from BJP and ensure the state government gained majority in the house”, a spokesman of ruling Congress told this newspaper on Sunday. BJP has however banked on Bhanu Bhuria (38), president of Jhabua district unit of BJP Yuva Morcha, to retain the seat.
Mr Medha who had quit Congress to join BJP on the eve of outgoing Lok Sabha elections has returned to the grand-old party recently with a hope of clinching party ticket for Jhabua by-elections.
He was known as die hard opponent of Mr Bhuria and had ensured defeat of the former Union minister’s son Vikram Bhuria in the 2018 assembly elections from Jhabua seat by contesting as a rebel candidate.
Although, chief minister Kamal Nath has succeeded in placating not to join in the fray as a rebel candidate again, sources said Mr Medha’s supporters have stayed away from campaigning for Congress in the by-elections.
The chief minister has started preparations for the crucial by-elections nearly three months ago by visiting the constituency.
BJP has however banked on Bhanu Bhuria (38), president of Jhabua district unit of BJP Yuva Morcha, to retain the seat.
“We have made lack of contributions by Mr Bhuria for the constituency as our key poll plank”, a BJP spokesman here said.
Kamal Nath government has a wafer-thin majority in the MP assembly as ruling Congress has strength of 114 in the 230-member house. It survived on support from two BSP MLAs, one SP legislator and four Independents. BJP has 108 MLAs.