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In ‘Kamal Nath’s Chhindwara’, 1st Tribal Mayor Of MP Makes The Switch From Congress To BJP

In a major setback to Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh, Vikram Ahake, the first tribal mayor of MP from Chhindwara and ‘protégé’ of former chief minister Kamal Nath, on Monday switched over to BJP from the grand old party.

Mr Ahake whose victory as mayor of Chhindwara Municipal Corporation in 2022 was showcased by the Congress leadership then as a demonstration of the party’s complete sway over tribals in the state, joined BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Yadav and state BJP President V D Sharma.

“At least half-a-dozen National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of Congress workers and other leaders of Congress in Madhya Pradesh joined the party along with me”, Mr Ahake told this newspaper.

Mr Nath first spotted the NSUI leader and fielded him in the post of Mayor of Chhindwara Municipal Corporation despite opposition by several other Congress leaders in Chhindwara.

“Mother is an Anganwadi worker, father is a farmer and son is the mayor (of Chhindwara Municipal Corporation). If one works hard and with honesty to achieve one’s dream, then anything can happen”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had then tweeted citing the example of the young tribal Mayor.

Mr Ahake’s induction in BJP follows his meetings with the Chief Minister in the day and later in the evening on Sunday.

The development comes on the heels of Amarawara MLA Kamalesh Shah, a descendant of local Gond royal family, switching over to BJP from Congress.

Mr Shah, who hails from Chhindwara district, is considered a close confidant of Mr Nath.

More than 4,000 Congress leaders and workers from Chhindwara have joined BJP in recent times as the saffron party has launched a determined bid to wrest Chhindwara LS seat from Congress after a gap of 44 years, in the ensuing polls.

Mr Nath’s son Nakul is seeking re-election from Chhindwara which is going to polls in the first phase polling along with six other constituencies in the state.

BJP had won 28 out of 29 seats in the last LS polls with Chhindwara seat being retained by Congress.

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