Former Union minister and long-serving leader of Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), Sartaj Singh on Thursday was given ticket by Congress for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh elections just minutes after he shifted from one party to another.
The Congress party, which unveiled its fifth list for the November polls, included the former PWD minister of the state in its plans and gave him a ticket just moments after he was inducted into the party.
Sartaj had defeated senior Congress leader Arjun Singh from the Hoshangabad constituency in 1998, and then was made Health Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government, which lasted for 13 days. He was also the PWD minister in Shivraj Singh Chouhan's cabinet in Madhya Pradesh till 2016, but after turning 75, he was shunted out with the party following its 75+ age criterion.
He becomes the second leader in the past few days to leave BJP and join Congress in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the upcoming state elections. Earlier this month, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh had also jumped the ship.
He was inaugurated into the party by President of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. After being inducted into Congress, Sanjay Singh hit out at Shivraj Singh Chouhan, claiming the state needed a face of 'Nath, not Shivraj'.
"I would like to thank Kamal Nath for having me in this party. Today, in reality, Madhya Pradesh doesn't need Shivraj, it needs Nath, Kamal Nath. 13 years it has been, its enough (CM's present tenure). Now others should get a chance as well. And the way in which there has been progress in Chhindwara, everyone can see. Chhindwara is known by a person's name. And I believe, Madhya Pradesh will also be known by the name of Kamal Nath."