A massive political drama unfolded in the past week in Madhya Pradesh with former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia finally tendering his resignation today putting an end to long-drawn speculations.
The entire Madhya Pradesh crisis began with 'horse-trading' allegations leveled by Digvijaya Singh who accused the BJP - Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Narottam Mishra - of offering bribes of Rs 25-35 crore to Congress MLAs in order to bring down the Congress government in the state. Soon after, there were reports of Congress MLAs reaching Delhi, and then Bengaluru, with the numbers routinely fluctuating and peaking on Monday.
Amidst the crisis, Chief Minister Kamal Nath had flown to Delhi on Monday morning to meet Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the political upheaval that his government is going through. Previously, sources had revealed that Sonia Gandhi was 'miffed' with the MP CM over the political instability that had hit the state under his rule.
Soon after meeting Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, Kamal Nath had said, "I will follow the directions of Sonia Gandhiji. We discussed the political situation in Madhya Pradesh. We also discussed a lot of issues." When asked about the internal rift with Scindia, Nath appeared to evade the question. Scindia was reported to have skipped the meeting in Delhi and returned to Bhopal. Sources suggested that he was ‘'unwell'.
A dramatic escalation of the crisis within Kamal Nath's ranks took place soon after when 18 Congress Madhya Pradesh MLAs - including 6 state ministers - flew to Bengaluru aboard chartered flights, along with the PA of Scindia on Monday. The MLAs were said to have been stationed in Delhi waiting for a go-ahead from Scindia.
Amidst speculation of Jyotiraditya Scindia leading the Madhya Pradesh Congress rift, sources revealed that the situation escalated to a point where 18 Congress MLAs are now in Bengaluru only after Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi allegedly 'refused' to meet the former Guna MP on the previous day - Sunday. This is also reported to be the cause of him skipping the Sonia-Nath meeting.
Soon after all BJP MLAs from Madhya Pradesh were summoned to Bhopal by the party. This came amidst speculations of BJP pushing for a no-confidence motion in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
In a massive cabinet rejig, sources on Monday night reported that all Madhya Pradesh cabinet ministers resigned. Moreover, CM Kamal Nath accepted their resignation in the emergency cabinet meeting at CM's residence in Bhopal, as per sources.
Meanwhile, in a last-ditch attempt to pacify miffed Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sonia Gandhi had allegedly called Scindia amid the growing number of rebels in Madhya Pradesh Congress. Sources reported that Scindia demanded both a Rajya Sabha seat in the upcoming polls and the post of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee chief.
On Tuesday morning sources reported that talks between Congress and Scindia did not seem to pull through and that at least 20 MLAs are likely to resign from the Madhya Pradesh Congress government. There are now 34 vacant positions in the cabinet. Some of the 20 ministers who resigned from Congress last night were reported to be in touch with rebels.
BJP's Narottam Mishra on Tuesday morning said that senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia was 'welcome to join' the saffron party if he wishes to. "Scindia Ji is definitely welcome to join BJP if he wishes to. Our party inducts even grass-root level workers, then Scindia Ji is a tall leader," said Mishra.
In a dramatic development, Scindia reached PM Modi’s house accompanied by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday morning amid indications that he may join hands with the BJP. The Congress leader was seen driving his black range rover to Prime Minister Modi's residence.
In a sensational development, Congress' Jyotiraditya Scindia on twitter announced that he has quit the grand old party. Jyotiraditya Scindia shared a photograph of the resignation letter sent to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
After Jyotiraditya Scindia made his resignation public, KC Venugopal notified that Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi approved the 'expulsion' of now-former Congress leader. On Tuesday noon, KC Venugopal said that Sonia Gandhi approved Scindia's resignation with immediate effect for "anti-party activities".
Following Jyotiraditya Scindia's trail, a camp of as many as 19 Congress MLAs, including six ministers from the state supporting him, sent in their resignations to the Madhya Pradesh Raj Bhavan and Speaker of Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
19 Congress MLAs including six state ministers from Madhya Pradesh who are in Bengaluru, tender their resignation from the assembly after Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the party. pic.twitter.com/ljTF7p90BV— ANI (@ANI) March 10, 2020
After tendering his resignation, sources told Republic that the former Congress leader Scindia is expected to join the BJP at 6 PM on Tuesday at the party headquarters. Furthermore, it was also reported that in the evening BJP's Central Election Commission (CEC) will also announce Scindia as a Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh.
19 Congress MLAs, who are staying in Bengaluru, wrote a letter to Karnataka DGP, demanding protection and police escort. In the letter, they wrote, "We've come to Karnataka voluntarily for some important work, regarding which we require protection for our safe movement and stay in and around Bangaluru."
19 Congress MLAs, who are staying in Bengaluru, write a letter to Karnataka DGP, demanding protection&police escort. Letter reads, "We've come to Karnataka voluntarily for some important work, regarding which we require protection for our safe movement&stay in& around Bangaluru". https://t.co/pHiIM3uJtm— ANI (@ANI) March 10, 2020
Amid the political drama in Madya Pradesh, another Congress MLA, Manoj Choudhary (Hatpipliya constituency in Dewas) has tendered his resignation as a member of the Legislative Assembly. Total Congress MLAs who have resigned are 22 now.