Bhopal, Jun 17: Victory in the June 25 by-election for the Jebera Assembly constituency in state's Damoh district has become crucial for Opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh, but winning is equally important for the ruling BJP also, in view of the changed political scenario in both the parties.
If Congress wins the by-poll, it will give the party the much needed strength to take on BJP in the 2013 Assembly polls, but in case it loses the by-election then it will put question mark over the ability of the party's new leadership.
In order to revive the party's sagging morale, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Union Minister for Tribal Welfare, Kantilal Bhuria as the new President of the State unit replacing former Union Minister, Suresh Pachouri.
"This is the first test for Bhuria, Leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh and senior Congress leader Harvansh Singh among others to prove their credentials in the state," a senior Congress leader told PTI.
"The party under the leadership of Bhuria, Singh and others is unitedly contesting the by-poll from Jebera and retaining this seat will be a real test for this new team," former Union Minister and senior party leader Aslam Sher Khan said.
"The victory in Jabera will definitely boost the party's morale," he said.
After the Congress's poor show in the last assembly elections and various by-polls in which BJP wrested Kukshi and Sonkatch seats from the main Opposition, the Congress high command has appointed new leaders at the instance of former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh to revive the party in MP.
"The party is determined and is fighting the by-poll unitedly to retain the Jebera seat," Congress spokesman, KK Mishra said adding the victory in the by-poll will be very crucial for the party''s fortunes in the state.
On the other hand BJP is also leaving no stone unturned to ensure that it wrests Jabera from the Congress to continue its winning streak.
The state BJP President, Prabhat Jha is also spending a lot of time in Jebera to ensure that his party romps home from there.
The BJP is banking on its top leaders minus recently re-inducted firebrand party leader, Uma Bharti to lead the party's poll campaign which has raised the eyebrows in the party circle, the party sources said.
In order to corner on the dominant Lodhi votes in the Jebera constituency, the BJP has fielded Dashrath Singh Lodhi in the by-poll, while to cash on the sympathy votes, the Congress has given ticket to Dr Tanya Solomon, who is the daughter of former minister Ratnesh Solomon.
The by-poll at Jabera was necessitated due to the death of Solomon.