Why MP chief minister's brother-in-law ditch him?

Why MP chief minister's brother-in-law ditch him?

Sanjay Singh, brother-in-law of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses the press along with senior Congress leaders Kamal nath after joining the Congress party, at AICC in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

The brother-in-law of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan joining the Congress ahead of Assembly elections in the state has fueled myriad speculations in Bhopal about the real motives behind the move.

The decision of Sanjay Singh Masani comes as a major setback to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Given the widely-held perception that Masani wielded more political clout than a powerful minister in Madhya Pradesh all through his brother–in-law’s 14 years of heading the state government, it is hard to believe that he chose to jump to the Congress bandwagon only because of denial of party ticket for the polls.

Masani had staked claim on Bara Seoni seat in Balaghat where the BJP has decided to retain its sitting MLA Yogendra Nirmal.

But this is not first time Masani failed to secure a ticket for the Assembly polls: he had unsuccessfully lobbied for ticket in 2008 and 2013 when Shivraj was far more powerful in the BJP than he is today.

In both the elections, Masani reconciled to denial of ticket without murmurs.

Even without being an MLA, the flamboyant bother in-law of the chief minister was known as a powerful fixer in the corridors of power.

He owns an infrastructure company, Nilaxi Infrastructures, which has several projects running in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

He is said to have invested considerable sum in the Mumbai film industry and has also acted as a cameo in a couple of films.

Interestingly, Masani was discovered to possess an accreditation card for  journalists by the Madhya Pradesh government during a raid at a liquor baron’s establishments a few years ago.   

It is interesting to note, that the party to which Masan has joined had earlier accused him of having grabbed several infrastructure projects in Madhya Pradesh by forging documents in connivance with his sister, chief minister’s wife Sadhna Singh.

The Congress had also charged the brother and sister duo with illegally recommending candidates from their native Gondia town for recruitment test as constables in the transport department.

The test was conducted in 2012 by the Professional Examination Board, better known as Vyapam.

Political observers say that a shrewd businessman that Masani is, he has sensed straw in the election winds in the state.

Him joining the Congress is being viewed as a pre-emotive move to stave off any potential probe into his assets that he has reportedly amassed during the long reign of his brother-in-law's government.