The Madhya Pradesh political crisis saw a comeback of hotel politics, after both BJP and Congress moved their legislators outside of the state, and lodged them in plush resorts in a bid to keep their respective flocks intact. The drama in Madhya Pradesh politics escalated after the senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party, and is reported to join the BJP on March 11 afternoon.
While BJP hurried its MLAs to a luxury hotel in Gurugram in wee hours on Wednesday, Congress is likely to move its MLAs from Bhopal to Jaipur later on March 11. It is pertinent to mention that the BJP government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is in power in Haryana while Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot led Congress government is ruling the roost in Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has sent two of its leaders, Sajjan Singh Verma and Govind Singh, to Bengaluru to pacify the rebel MLAs, who are staying in a resort in BJP-ruled Karnataka. On Tuesday, following Scindia's suit, 22 MLAs loyal to the leader tendered their resignation from their post, courting trouble for the 15-month-old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.
Congress leaders said that the party MLAs will be leaving for Jaipur from Bhopal on Wednesday morning. Putting on a brave face, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath said that there was nothing to worry about and exuded confidence in his government, saying that the Congress party still had the required numbers to prove its majority in the floor test in the state assembly. Allegations were leveled against the BJP for reportedly holding hostages at least eight Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh against their will at a luxury hotel in Gurugram's Manesar and Bengaluru.
Several Congress leaders slammed Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday for quitting the party, accusing him of betraying the trust of the people and placing "personal ambition" over ideology. Hitting out at Scindia, many Congress leaders referred to the 1857 revolt against the East India Company and the role of the Scindia royals back then as well as Vijaya Raje Scindia's switch from the Congress in 1967. Congress' prominent youth leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party on Tuesday and appeared set to join the BJP amid a rebellion in Madhya Pradesh by his supporters, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse.
Early last week, Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh repeatedly leveled horse-trading charges against the BJP. Digvijaya said that Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Rambai was brought to the national capital by a charter flight on Monday by a BJP leader. On March 2, Digvijaya Singh had alleged that Shivraj Chouhan and Narottam Mishra were offering bribes of Rs 25-35 crores to Congress MLAs in order to sack the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. "Ever since Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become the opposition party in Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Narottam Mishra and all those who looted the state for 15 years, they are not ready to sit in the Opposition and are openly offering bribes of Rs 25-35 crores to Congress MLAs," Singh alleged.
(with agency inputs)