In a dramatic escalation of the political crisis that has engulfed the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh, 18 Congress MLAs purportedly from the camp of Jyotiraditya Scindia reached Bengaluru on Monday, posing a serious threat to the current majority mathematics in the 230-member assembly.
Owing to the support of these 18 MLAs, Scindia, who has given the impression of being dissatisfied almost since the time the Congress won the assembly elections in the state and he was overlooked for the post of Chief Minister, seems to be in the driver's seat with sources telling Republic that the Congress top brass is ready to meet any of his demands, whether they be his appointment as Congress Madhya Pradesh chief - a post that is currently held by CM Kamal Nath - or a Rajya Sabha nomination for the upcoming elections. However, the move could easily prove to be too little too late, as Scindia has purportedly kept his options open.
Top sources on Monday reported that Scindia has been in touch with a senior BJP leader who is a former Chief Minister. It has also been reported that the rebel MLAs might resign from the government in the next 48 hours, while the ball remains in Scindia's court, even as the Congress dawdles on a cabinet expansion.
This comes after sources said the BJP is set to move a no-confidence motion in the State's Assembly, and as per sources, has summoned all its MLAs to Bhopal. Meanwhile, six Congress Ministers are in Bengaluru at a resort on the outskirts of the city. Apart from these 6 Ministers, 12 rebel MLAs are also in the capital of Karnataka, and as per sources, Scindia's PA also travelled with them.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Kamal Nath has returned from Delhi to Bhopal after a whirlwind visit to the National Capital on Monday to meet Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, in an effort 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.
In the 230-member Assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 107. The simple majority mark is 116. The Congress-led State government has the support of four Independent MLAs, two Bahujan Samaj Party legislators and one of the Samajwadi Party. Two seats are currently vacant following the demise of a Congress and a BJP legislator each.