Amid the political chaos in Madhya Pradesh, a senior leader closer to BJP's Jyotiraditya Scindia claimed that "8-10 MLAs held captive in Bengaluru" do not want to resign from the Congress. The 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led government has been facing a deep crisis following the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs after former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party on Tuesday. Ahead of the floor test scheduled to be held on Monday amid the ongoing political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, Congress MLAs, who were lodged in a resort in Jaipur, have left for Bhopal Sunday morning.
State Congress working president and former minister Ramniwas Rawat, who has been close to the Scindia family for the past three decades, said, "Eight to ten MLAs held captive in Bengaluru are under pressure. I have talked to them. They don't want to resign from the party." Speaking at a press conference at the Congress office, Rawat said, "These MLAs who were taken to Bengaluru were not informed for what reason they were called. They were misled and told to resign, for which they were not ready. Now, the (Assembly) speaker has served them notices. So these MLAs should come and clarify that they have not resigned under duress."
When asked how he managed to contact the sequestered MLAs when even their families have claimed that getting in touch was not possible, Rawat just said, "This should remain a secret." Rawat said he was loyal to Jyotiraditya's father late Madhavrao Scindia and had even left the Congress when the senior Scindia formed the MP Vikas Congress.
"I have respect for the Scindia family but I will always be with the Congress," he said, claiming Jyotiraditya left the party as he thought it would not grow in the future. "I agree with Rahul Gandhi that Scindia abandoned his ideology out of concern about his political future," Rawat said. Meanwhile, the BJP has shifted its MLAs to Manesar in Haryana, where the party is in power. Ruling Congress MLAs are in Jaipur in Rajasthan.
A BJP delegation handed a letter to Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon on Saturday, requesting an Assembly session before March 16. BJP leaders Gopal Bhargava, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Narottam Mishra, and Bhupendra Singh met Governor in Bhopal. Addressing the media after meeting the government, former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused the Congress government in the state of pressurising, threatening and harassing the MLAs. Further alleged that the MLAs refuse to travel without security. He added, "The government is trying delay tactics, we want an immediate floor test. Even if it happens tomorrow, we have no problem with it."
On Friday, Kamal Nath had written to the Governor apprising him of the situation in the state adding, "invite a floor test in the forthcoming session of Madhya Pradesh Assembly already notified from March 16". In response, Governor of Madhya Pradesh Lalji Tandon expelled 6 pro-Scindia ministers who were at the Bengaluru resort. The rebel MLAs had prepared to fly from Bengaluru to Bhopal on Friday but had canceled after seeking protection from the Madhya Pradesh police.
The crisis in the Kamal Nath government started when Congress alleged BJP of poaching 4 MLAs - Surendra Singh Shera, Bisahulal Singh, Hardeep Singh Dang, and Raghuraj Kansana when they were flown to Bengaluru. While two of them have returned to Kamal Nath's folds, 18 MLAs including 6 cabinet ministers - loyal to Scindia flew to Bengaluru on Monday. Though Kamal Nath dissolved his cabinet, making 20 ministers resign on Monday night at an apparent cabinet rejig attempt, it failed and all 6 rebel cabinet ministers have been expelled.