At the function where Katni's mayor (independent) joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday, senior BJP leader and Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra was seen playing the anchor's role, which was indicative of a new task assigned to him ahead of the Assembly elections.
Sources told IANS that during the State Working Committee meeting, which concluded last week at the party's headquarters in Bhopal, Mishra was unofficially assigned the task to bring back the rebels into the BJP. Mishra was also given the role of strengthening the BJP cadres especially in regions where the party had lost in the 2018 Assembly elections.
Katni's mayor (Independent) Preeti Suri along with three independent municipal councillors joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president V. D. Sharma on Monday. When Suri and the three councillors entered the BJP's conference hall, they were guided by Narottam Mishra and Katni's BJP MLA Sanjay Pathak.
The strong political friendship between Mishra and Pathak has been a matter of discussion in the state unit of the BJP, especially since the duo had played a prominent role in delivering a setback to the Congress government in March 2020. The presence of both Mishra and Pathak during the Katni mayor's joining was a clear indication that the duo played a role in bringing back Suri to the party.
"Mishra's presence during the independent mayor's joining is clear evidence that he has started working on the task assigned to him. It is the first step, more such developments will happen soon. Several parties' rebels will be joining the BJP soon," said a source in the party.
Suri, who won the mayoral seat as an independent candidate from Katni in July last year, is an ex-BJP leader. She was suspended from the party for six years due to anti-party activities a few years back. "Even though she (Preeti Suri) was out of the BJP for the last few years, but her heart was always with the party. We welcome her rejoining the party," Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
With this, the BJP will now have 10 mayors out of the total 16 in Madhya Pradesh. In the mayoral elections held in July last year, the ruling BJP had won seven against the Congress' five mayoral posts. One mayoral seat (Singrauli) was won by the debutant AAP.
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