Ex-minister quits Cong, enters BSP

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Gwalior, Nov 6 (UNI) Late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia's childhood friend and former Madhya Pradesh minister Balendu Shukla today severed ties with the Congress and entered Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ranks along with his supporters as he was incensed over being denied an assembly poll ticket.

The BSP has declared Mr Shukla as its candidate from Gwalior South and he would submit his nomination papers tomorrow, which is the last day for doing so. Mr Shukla is close to Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Mr Shukla joined the BSP in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Anant Kumar Mishra and BSP Madhya Pradesh President Dharm Prakash Bharti.

''I came to bestow membership on Mr Shukla as per a directive of BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati,'' said Mr Bharti.

Mr Mishra said that the BSP gave tickets to 45 brahmins, 20 kshatriyas, eight vaishyas and eight members of minority communities in this state.

The Congress has fielded National Students Union of India state President Rashmi Pawar from Gwalior South.

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