After joining BJP, Chhindwara Mayor makes U-turn; seeks votes for Congress’s Nakul Nath on polling day

In a video message on social media that appeared in the morning after voting began, Vikram Ahake said that he was feeling ‘suffocated in the ruling party just weeks after joining it

April 19, 2024 10:09 pm | Updated 10:09 pm IST - BHOPAL

Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav welcomes Mayor of Chhindwara Vikram Singh Ahake as he joins the BJP at the CM’s residence in Bhopal on April 1.

Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav welcomes Mayor of Chhindwara Vikram Singh Ahake as he joins the BJP at the CM’s residence in Bhopal on April 1. | Photo Credit: ANI

Less than three weeks after joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh, Chhindwara Mayor Vikram Ahake asked people to vote for Congress candidate and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath.

In a video message on social media that appeared in the morning shortly after polling began for Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Ahake said that he was feeling “suffocated” in the BJP.

‘Wrong on my part’

“Today, I am going to say something important without any pressure. I had joined a political party few days ago but I had been feeling suffocated ever since. I felt like that I was doing wrong with the person (Kamal Nath) who has done so much for Chhindwara’s development and has always helped the people of Chhindwara in their tough times,” he said in the video.

The mayor had joined the BJP on April 1 in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, State unit president V. D. Sharma and other senior party leaders.

Mr. Ahake, a tribal leader, was among the many Congress leaders from across the State who defected to the BJP in the past few months. Some of these leaders include Kamlesh Shah, a former MLA from Chhindwara’s Amarwara, and former State Minister and long-time aide of Mr. Kamal Nath, Deepak Saxena.

Praising Mr. Kamal Nath for working towards the development of Chhindwara in all sectors including education and health, Mr. Ahake said: “In the future, I will get a lot of opportunities to do politics. I don’t know what will happen to me, but if I don’t stand with my leader Kamal Nath and Nakul Nath today [it will be wrong] because they have helped me reach places. I appeal to the voters to ensure the victory of Nakul Nath [and his father Kamal Nath] with a huge margin.”

There is no information yet if Mr. Ahake will officially be rejoining the Congress.

Chhindwara went to the polls in the first phase on Friday and the constituency is in for a close contest between Mr. Nakul Nath and BJP candidate Vivek Bunty Sahu with top BJP leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, campaigning for the party there.

The Nath family had taken an emotional approach to the campaigning phase to hold onto Chhindwara constituency, the only one that the Congress won in the State in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

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