A minister in the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government has reportedly sparked a controversy by threatening Congress leaders in the state to jump ship and join the saffron party ahead of the civic polls. A purported video of state panchayat minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia’s remarks at a public meeting in Guna district’s Ruthiyai town is doing the rounds on social media.
In the video, the minister can be heard telling local Congress leaders to either join the Bharatiya Janata Party or face the threat of bulldozers. Like some other BJP-ruled states, the administration has been demolishing illegal portions of people’s houses for various offences, a practice often criticized by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, known as ‘Mama’. It is said, appreciated by “Zero tolerance” against government crimes and criminals.
“Join BJP. Slowly move towards it (ruling party). Even in 2023 (when assembly elections are due in the state), BJP will form government in MP. Mama’s bulldozer is ready, Sisodia reportedly said at the gathering. Campaigning is underway for the Raghugarh Nagar municipal elections to be held on January 20.
Guna district Congress chief Hari Shankar Vijayvargiya hit back at the minister saying that his remarks have tarnished the image of the BJP.
Vijayvargiya said, “He should exercise restraint in his language. The people of Raghavgarh will give him a befitting reply in the elections on January 20.”
Raghugarh is the hometown of senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. His son Jayawardhan Singh is the local MLA.
(with PTI input)