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MP polls: Snubbed senior BJP leader joins Cong, gets ticket

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

and former Union Thursday switched over to the after his name did not figure in the ruling party's third list for the November 28 polls.

Singh, two-time MLA from Seoni-Malwa who wept openly after the BJP snub, was immediately named as the Congress' nominee for the seat in the opposition party's fifth list comprising 16 candidates.

Singh holds sway in the Hoshangabad region and had defeated late stalwart from there in 1998.

"I am grateful to the for nominating me from Hoshangabad. I had been with the saffron family for 58 long years. The BJP denied me a ticket. I want to be in the midst of the people so I am contesting elections," Singh told over phone.

"I don't want to sit at home and confine myself to counting prayer beads," he added.

With the fifth list, released Thursday evening, the Congress has now announced names for 225 seats in the 230-member Assembly.

The Congress is yet to announce its contestants from Budhni (Sehore), Manpur (Dhar), Indore-2, Indore-5 and Jatara (Tikamgarh) seats.

Congress sources said the party is looking for a strong candidate for Budhni to "confine" there.

The BJP Thursday released its third list of 32 candidates, leaving only six seats, in the 230-member House, for which no names have been declared so far.

These are Seoni-Malwa, from which Singh was a sitting MLA, Panna, Lakhnadoun, Bhopal North, Mahidpur and Garoth.

Sitting among his supporters earlier Thursday, the Sikh leader tried to conceal his tears by covering his face for a few moments.

Anil Soumitra, who had earlier in the day called Singh's teary reaction to his exclusion from the party's list as "unbecoming", later in the evening said the veteran MLA's exit would not harm the BJP.

"Will the Congress workers accept him? Is this trend of nursing personal political ambitions right? If he was such a big leader, why he did not run as an Independent candidate," Soumitra said.

Earlier in the day, asked for a comment, Soumitra said," The BJP has valued him immensely. The party has made him Union minister, Minister, What more does he want? Instead of Vanaprashta (retirement in forest), he wants to stay put in Grihastha (household)."

Singh was earlier dropped as MP PWD along with in June 2016 reportedly due to old age.

Singh is the third to join Congress after and

Sharma was the sitting BJP MLA from Tendukhenda in district and has now been given a ticket from there by the Congress.

Shukla, who resigned as and quit the BJP, has got the Congress' nomination from Vijayraghavgarh constituency in district.

Besides, the Congress has made Sanjay Singh Masani, of MP CM Chouhan, its nominee from Waraseoni assembly seat in district, currently represented by BJP's Yogendra Nirmal.

A native of Maharashtra, Masani's name figured on the fourth list of 29 candidates released Wednesday by the Congress.

Meanwhile, the Congress took a dig at the BJP over and said the ruling party had a habit of treating senior leaders in such a manner.

claimed that the BJP had "no respect" for elders and gave the example of party patriarch LK Advani.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 20:05 IST