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With 1,200-car convoy Scindia loyalist return to Congress party, cites suffocation in BJP

With 1,200-car convoy Scindia loyalist return to Congress party, cites suffocation in BJP

Bhopal: As elections are around the corner in Madhya Pradesh, former MLAs who had sided with the then-quarrelling Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia – who later joined the BJP, leading to the downfall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in 2020 – are now seen returning to the Congress party.

The latest to join the Congress party is MLA Samandar Patel, who was also a loyalist of Scindia and claimed feelings of "suffocation" within the ruling BJP as the reason for his return.

Patel's grand re-entry was marked by an impressive display of political strength. Leading a colossal "1,200-car convoy," Patel embarked on a journey from his constituency, Jawad, to Bhopal, where he submitted his resignation papers at the BJP office.

The dramatic convoy, symbolizing his recommitment to the Congress, was reminiscent of his earlier switch to the BJP alongside Scindia.

This move is not isolated. Patel is the third close confidante of Scindia to return to Congress in recent months, and each has chosen to do so with a spectacular show of support through massive car rallies.

In June, BJP leader Baijnath Singh Yadav and former BJP Shivpuri district vice president Rakesh Kumar Gupta followed a similar pattern, cutting ties with Scindia and joining the Congress with their respective car rallies.

Patel, whose political journey has seen multiple shifts, expressed his discomfort within the BJP. He lamented being side-lined and not receiving the respect and positions of power he had hoped for. He had previously left the Congress in 2018 but re-joined before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, only to leave again in March 2020 with Scindia and his group of 22 MLAs.

Trouble brewed for Patel as he faced conflicts within the BJP, particularly with state Cabinet minister Omprakash Saklecha's faction. The MLA claimed his supporters were constantly humiliated and falsely implicated in cases, prompting him to exit the party once more.

While Patel asserted his continued respect for Scindia, indicating that the problem lay within the BJP, political analysts note that Scindia has been contending with internal strife in the MP BJP unit. Patel's return could be a setback for the BJP, as he was considered a significant figure within the party and a staunch supporter of Scindia.

This move is anticipated to have a broader impact, with speculation that more supporters from Scindia's camp might rejoin the Congress soon. Observers point out that the BJP's inability to address differences with Scindia loyalists might further contribute to defections.

With Patel's return, the Congress gains a prominent figure and influential role in Madhya Pradesh politics. His considerable popularity among the Dhakad community, classified as an Other Backward Class (OBC), is expected to influence regional dynamics. Patel's declared assets of Rs 89 crore also underline his financial prowess.

As the political landscape in Madhya Pradesh continues to shift, Patel's comeback to the Congress has injected renewed energy into the opposition and presented a challenge to the BJP's unity and stability.

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TAGS:BJPCongress PartyMadhya Pradesh governmentSamandar Patel
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