MP Elections 2023: Narottam Mishra To Face Old Rival Rajendra Bharti Again, Congress To Corner Him Using Rebels

MP Elections 2023: Narottam Mishra To Face Old Rival Rajendra Bharti Again, Congress To Corner Him Using Rebels

Mishra will face his old political rival, the Congress' Rajendra Bharti for the third-consecutive Assembly election, on November 17.

IANSUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 02:08 PM IST
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MP Elections 2023: Narottam Mishra To Face Old Rival Rajendra Bharti Again, Congress To Corner Him Using Rebels |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who is frequently in the headlines for his controversial remarks, especially on issues related to Bollywood and Hindutva, will face his old political rival, the Congress' Rajendra Bharti for the third-consecutive Assembly election, on November 17.

In the first list, the Congress fielded the former BJP leader with an RSS background - Avdhesh Nayak against the state's most influential minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet - Narottam Mishra from the Datia seat of Gwalior-Chambal region. However, an internal rift prompted the party to replace him with Bharti, as he had given Mishra a tough fight in 2018.

Political circles are abuzz with murmurs that Mishra, who won in 2018 against Bharti with just 2,656 votes, is likely to face a tough contest because of the high anti-incumbency factor against the BJP which has been ruling Madhya Pradesh for nearly 20 years. Importantly, Bharti had also filed a case against Mishra in a paid news case. The verdict went in favour of Bharti, but was challenged and the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

Mishra trying to present himself as 'Vikas Purush'

Mishra played a pivotal role in toppling the Kamal Nath Government in 2020, through 'Operation Kamal', and this is also one of the reasons the state Congress unit considers him a bigger political enemy than Chief Minister Chouhan and would leave no stone unturned to defeat him. Now, in this election, Mishra, who is fondly addressed as the 'Dada of Datia', is trying to present himself as a 'Vikas Purush'.

In the last few years, Datia has seen a lot of development as the BJP government has given projects worth Rs. 1 lakh crore for various projects in the region, including an airport. "Years ago, when I came to Datia for the first time, locals were complaining about the water problem, but I learnt that there was one more problem, and that was more serious. Datia was famous for gangsters. Gang wars used to take place here like in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. But, when the people of Datia elected me as an MLA for the first time, I remember that I had made a statement that 'from today there is only one dada in Datia', and I started taking strict action against gangsters," Mishra said. However, the Congress will corner him by highlighting issues like corruption, the growing crime graph against women and the poor law and order situation in the state.

'Mishra has become dictator now'

Sources said inducting Avdhesh Nayak, a Brahmin face with an RSS background, into the Congress was part of its strategy to weaken Mishra. The Opposition wanted to utilise a personal rift between Mishra and Nayak. However, now it will have to be seen if the Congress' plan to weaken Mishra will work as Nayak has been replaced with Bharti.

Former Congress MLA from Datia - Ghanshyam Singh, who is now a candidate from the Sewda seat in Datia district, told IANS, "There is no doubt that Datia has seen a lot of development in the last few years, but Narottam Mishra has become a dictator now. He will be facing resentment from the BJP's workers because he has ruined their careers by implicating them in false cases. He has sidelined several BJP leaders and his supporters say they have made 'Dadapa' instead 'Bhajapa'. He knows that he will lose the election, which is why he is worried and running from door to door to convince people to support him."

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