Guna (Madhya Pradesh): The Congress party has shifted its councillors from Raghogarh, party veteran Digvijaya Singh's home turf, to an undisclosed location amid fear of poaching ahead of elections to the post of local municipal council chairman. In the recently-held local body polls to the 24-member Raghogarh Municipal Council (RMC) in Guna district, the Congress won councillor's posts in 16 wards, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged just eight seats. The date for the election to the post of RMC chairman is yet to be announced.
‘The party has kept most of its councillors incommunicado and away from mobile phones, not because of any fear, but on the basis of past experiences,’ Guna district Congress committee (DCC) president Hari Vijayvargiya said without disclosing the location of the councillors. He said that the party is also on alert after poaching was witnessed during the district panchayat elections held earlier in Bhopal and the recent statement of Minister for Panchayat Mahendra Singh Sisodia. Addressing a rally during the recently-held Raghogarh civic polls, Sisodia had asked Congress workers to join the BJP ‘or else Mama's (chief minister's) bulldozer is ready’. He also expressed confidence that the ruling party in the state would win the next elections.
BJP's district unit president Dharmendra Sikarwar termed the Congress's move of shifting its councillors as ‘internal bickering’ of the party. ‘Despite majority, the Congress sent its councillors to a safe place, though the BJP doesn't believe in poaching,’ he said. Sikarwar said the councillors have the right to vote as per their own wish. While claiming that Congress leaders have already accepted defeat, BJP's district chief said his party will also field the candidate for the post of RMC chairman. Raghogarh is the home turf of Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh. He had represented Raghogarh Assembly seat for four terms, while his brother Lakshman Singh had won twice from here.
Digvijaya Singh's son Jaivardhan Singh currently represents this seat, which is his second term. Polling for the 19 urban bodies’ elections, including those of RMC, was held on January 20 while the result was declared on January 23. The BJP candidates have won 183 post of councillors while Congress won in 143 wards in the 19 small urban local bodies. These councillors will now elect the president of their respective municipal body.
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