Congress MLA from Kamal Nath’s Chhindwara joins BJP

Kamlesh Pratap Shah joined the BJP at the Chief Minister’s Residence in Bhopal.

Updated - March 30, 2024 11:32 am IST

Published - March 30, 2024 12:55 am IST - Bhopal

Making the contest for Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency more interesting, a Congress MLA from former Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s bastion moved over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday.

Kamlesh Pratap Shah, a three-term MLA from Chhindwara Lok Sabha’s Amarwara (Scheduled Tribe reserved), resigned from his Legislative membership and joined the BJP at the Chief Minister’s Residence in Bhopal, along with other Congress leaders from across the State.

Mr. Shah’s resignation was also accepted by Assembly Speaker Narendra Singh Tomar.

The BJP has been running an aggressive campaign and constantly inducting Congress leaders and workers in Chhindwara where Mr. Nath’s son and sitting MP Nakul Nath was in the fray again for the grand old party. The BJP has fielded its district unit president Vivek Bunty Sahu against Mr. Nakul Nath.

Chhindwara goes to polls in the first phase on April 19, along with five other seats in the State.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 28 out of 29 parliamentary seats in Madhya Pradesh with the Congress only bagging the Chhindwara constituency.

In the 2023 State Assembly elections too, Chhindwara was the only Lok Sabha segment where the Congress won all seven Assembly seats.

Mr. Shah hails from the Gondwana tribal community, a prominent group in the tribal-dominated region, and won from his seat in the 2013, 2018, and 2023 Assembly polls. Mr. Shah was also considered close to Mr. Nath. 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav said that it was a significant development for the BJP, given that the party did not have a single MLA in area.

“Today the entire State is Modi may. Someone who has been a MLA for three terms has today joined BJP. Kamlesh Shah has taken membership of BJP because of Kamal Nath’s behaviour. There is a problem in Chhindwara and examples of it are now coming to the fore,” Mr. Yadav said after the induction.

State BJP chief V. D. Sharma and other party leaders were also present for the induction of the new members.

Chhindwara has been a stronghold of the Nath family for nearly five decades now with the senior Nath himself having represented the constituency nine times in the Parliament. Mr. Nath is currently an MLA from the Chhindwara Assembly seat.

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