Just when the Congress party appeared to get things under control in Madhya Pradesh, a new set of issues have cropped up. Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh is unhappy — he was against Sanjay Singh Masani (brother-in-law of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) joining the Congress, but nobody seemed to bother about his argument. Singh's point was that the move would damage the party's image because Congress leaders have, in the past, accused Masani of corruption. Digvijaya also alleged that Masani had no political stature — his only “achievement” was he was the brother of the CM's wife (Sadhna Singh). The backstory is that Masani had sought a ticket from the Waraseoni (Balaghat) seat but Chouhan had turned down the request — the reason why Masani quit the Bharatiya Janata Party.
A threat or an advice?
Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh) collector Omprakash Shrivastava has written an open letter to all those government officials who try to "escape" election duty feigning illness. Shrivastava wrote on Facebook, "We have to conduct the elections in the district with the help of over 7,500 employees. There is a pile of applications on my table. Many employees are seeking leave from duty and they are faking illness for this. God forbid that they don’t have to suffer from those disease which they are faking right now." He used a popular dialogue from Bollywood flick Om Shanti Om to drive home his point: “Agar kisi cheez ko dilsechaho, toh poori kaaynatussetumsemilane ki koshish men lag jatee hai.” (If you desire something very badly, the whole world would come to your help.)
The Opposition was overjoyed by the by-election results in Karnataka. There were also those who pointed the mistake Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress alliance committed in the south Karnataka region. The Bharatiya Janata Party has traditionally been weak in the region, with the electoral contests primarily between the Congress and JD (S). South Karnataka is a region where the Vokkaliga community is strong. The JD (S) leadership of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and his clan are Vokkaligas. As part of the alliance, the Congress didn't contest the Mandya Lok Sabha by-elections, results of which were announced on Tuesday. The JD (S) candidate won by a big margin against his BJP rival, but the latter celebrated the defeat because earlier it would end up as number three. Many Congress leaders said the party should have contested after all.