Sanjay Singh Masani with Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani was among the 29 candidates named by the Congress in its fourth list released on Wednesday. Springing a surprise on the ruling BJP, Masani had joined the Congress in the presence of PCC chief Kamal Nath and campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia in the national capital on Saturday.
Masani was keen on contesting from Waraseoni in Balaghat district but the BJP did not consider his claim, a rejection that apparently forced him to switch his loyalty to the Opposition camp. The Congress fielded him from the same constituency.
On the day Masani joined the Congress, BJP leaders, including CM Chouhan, had said that everyone was free to pursue one’s political interest.
On Wednesday, however, Agriculture Minister Gaurishanker Bisen said he would himself campaign against Masani who has no political entity. “As long as he was the CM’s brother-in-law, he had some standing but not any longer,” Bisen, an MLA from Balaghat, told The Indian Express, claiming Masani would lose badly.
The Congress replaced its Burhanpur candidate Hamid Kazi with Ravindra Mahajan. After he was named as a candidate, Kazi told the party that he had been convicted for a two-year-term and his appeal against the judgment was pending. He himself opted out of the race saying he was not sure how the legal case would pan out.
The Congress has still not named candidates for all the 230 seats and is apparently waiting for the BJP to release its list.