The political crisis in Madhya Pradesh deepened today with 17 INC MLAs — six of them state ministers — moving to Bengaluru, Karnataka, as the rift between senior INC leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Chief Minister Kamal Nath came to the fore. These MLAs who have reached Bengaluru are of the Scindia camp.
Shortly before this, state Labour Minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia had warned of a ‘crisis’ if Scindia is neglected. Now, the infighting of the INC is for all to see.
Sisodia had said, “This pressure politics is the handiwork of the BJP, but I will definitely say one thing, ‘Kamal Nath ji, the crisis will arise only on the day the Madhya Pradesh government disrespects or ignores our leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.”
“Surely, a cloud will be cast on the government of Madhya Pradesh that day. I do not know what the black cloud will do, I cannot tell you that today,” Sisodia said.
Missing MLA of Madhya Pradesh resurfaces
Bisahulal Singh, the missing INC MLA, reached Bhopal on Sunday and met Kamal Nath. Ministers who reached Bengaluru include Imrati Devi, Pradyuman Singh Tomar, Govind Singh Rajpur and Mahendra Singh Sisodia. These ministers and legislators have been accommodated at the resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
A photo of former minister Bisahulal Singh’s in a meeting with the chief minister has surfaced, where Singh is seen with some other INC leaders.
Two MLAs Hardeep Singh Dung and Raghuraj Kansana have been ‘missing’ for the past one week too. Dung went to the extent of sending his resignation from the membership of the assembly.
After meeting Kamal Nath, Bisahulal Singh told reporters that he was away on a “pilgrimage”. He denied that anyone had held him hostage. He expressed his full support to the Kamal Nath government and said that he has always supported the government and would continue to do so.
“Of course, I was unhappy that the government is not doing the work I wanted,” Singh said. “My aim is to serve the people of my region and I have received assurance from the chief minister that all the works will be completed.” His colleagues in the state government reportedly dissuaded him from revolt and flew him from Bengaluru by plane.
Scindia-Nath tug of war
The tension between Scindia and the Kamal Nath camp began following the result of last year’s assembly election when the INC high command decided who would be the occupant of the chief minister’s office. There was resentment in the Scindia camp after Kamal Nath was made the chief minister. The ill-will continued.
Scindia began targeting his own government over many issues. On the issue of teachers and farmers, he even said that if the government did not fulfil the promises made in the manifesto, he and his followers will hit the streets in protest.
BJP got a chance
The BJP seems ready to take advantage of this rift. According to sources, they were BJP MLAs from Karnataka who brought the INC MLAs to Bengaluru.
With the commencement of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly session on 16 March, the BJP will come up with a no-confidence motion on the first day. If these 10 MLAs support the BJP, the government may fall.
A leader in the BJP said on the condition of anonymity, “We can always say that the fight between Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia was affecting the governance of Madhya Pradesh. The onus of the collapse of this government is not on us.”
However, there is an alternative view of the rift in the Madhya Pradesh government among political observers. This is a faux fight while the actual game is of an extra seat in the Rajya Sabha, they say.