Eye on Bypolls, Poster War Begins in MP; Cong Leader Held for One Pasted Outside Scindia's Palace Gates

Vivek Trivedi

With Assembly bypolls nearing, missing posters of BJP leader and former Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently switched camp from the Congress, and former chief minister Kamal Nath and his son Nakul, appeared in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.

While the posters on Scindia offering a reward of Rs 5,100 were put up on the former royal's Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior, the Nath father and son duo's posters were seen in Chhindwara region where Nakul is an MP. The posters offered Rs 21,000 as 'reward' for finding the 'missing duo'.

Kamal Nath's office had announced his tour programme for Chhindwara on Saturday. Sixteen of the 24 vacant Assembly seats, including those 22 where Congress MLAs switched over to the BJP, fall in the Gwalior-Chambal region.

After decades, the Congress will take an electoral plunge in this region without the Scindias by its side. Jyotiraditya Scindia's father, Madhav Rao Scindia, had also quit the Congress during late prime minister's PV Narasimha Rao regime, but no Assembly polls had taken place around that time.

Jyotiraditya Scindia will have his first test of strength after switching over to the BJP in March this year and will have the mantle of helping the party win maximum seats in his home turf.

Later in the day, Scindia's supporters blamed the Congress party for the act while taking down the posters. Scindia recently joined the BJP and the resignation of 22 supporter MLAs from the Congress and the MP Assembly led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government on March 20, and return of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as chief minister on March 23.

After BJP workers filed a complaint, Congress leader Siddharth Singh Rajawat was arrested while the hunt was on for other accused, Jhansi Road police station City Superintendent of Police M Rajoria said.

Police said Rajawat had been arrested under sections 188 and 505 (1)(c) of the IPC for political activities that could lead to tensions between two sections of society.

Reports suggest the missing poster war was started by Congress leader Ravi Saxena after he announced a reward for information on Bhopal Member of Parliament Pragya Singh Thakur.