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Madhya Pradesh: Several Congress leaders, including ex-MLA, join BJP amid Lok Sabha polls

Bhopal: The Congress party suffered another setback amid Lok Sabha elections as several congressmen, including an ex-MLA, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday.
Former Congress MLA Hari Vallabh Shukla along with his supporters and other congress leaders took the membership of the saffron party in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Yadav at the state BJP office in Bhopal.
Convenor of the new joining committee and former state minister Narrotam Mishra, state minister Govind Rajput, BJP leader who recently left the Congress party, Suresh Pachori, and others were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Mohan Yadav said, "We accept you all (Congress leaders and workers) with an open heart in our family (BJP); as I already said, in a way sugar is ground in milk, similarly we have welcomed you all. You can put your suggestions on any issue. Trends of the first phase of polling in the state are quite friendly and with a thumping majority BJP government is all set to be formed."
Former MLA Shukla said that he joined the party after being impressed by the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to carry forward the development policy of Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
"Impressed by PM Modi's policies and to carry forward Jyotiraditya Scindia's development agenda, I have joined the BJP. There is disappointment with the Congress party. The issues on which Congress became the party of the common people and ruled for 70 years are today cut off from the public. Now it has become only a party of leaders discussing in closed doors," Shukla told ANI.
"On the other hand, PM Modi made the BJP a party of the common people be it women, farmers, youth or businessmen. I have also seen the time when BJP workers could not be found in the villages, today the situation has reversed. Congress workers are not being found because the party is cut off from the common people," he added.
When asked about switching sides amid Lok Sabha elections, he said, "I believe that if anyone can develop Gwalior and Shivpuri region, Union minister Scindia can do it, hence we will have to connect with the development man."
He added that he did not seek any designation in the party and would only work for the coming generations.
"We have played our innings and now have come to the party to work for the new generation," Shukla said.
Polling for the Lok Sabha in the state will be conducted in four phases, with the next three phases of voting scheduled for April 26, May 7 and May 13. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 4.
Madhya Pradesh has a total of 29 Lok Sabha constituencies, making it the sixth-largest state in terms of members it sends to the Lower House. Of these, 10 seats are reserved for SC and ST candidates, while the remaining 19 are unreserved.

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