Bhopal: The resignation of Congress MLA Hardeep Singh Dang and the mysterious meeting of two BJP lawmakers with Chief Minister Kamal Nath have added new twists to the Madhya Pradesh government's waiting game after the sudden flight of a group of MLAs.
According to sources, Chief Minister Kamal Nath has summoned all Congress members to Bhopal for a show of strength. However, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said on Friday that the Congress led government in the state was completely safe despite the BJP's efforts to lure away MLAs. "It is Operation Moneybags, not Operation Lotus by the BJP. Our government is safe and we will run the government for five years. They (BJP) used to say we will not last even three months," said the former Chief Minister.
Singh also has accused the BJP of "kidnapping" MLAs of the Congress and its supporting parties to topple the government, timed alongside elections to the Rajya Sabha in which votes of MLAs count.
The Congress government is looking at the possibility of more exits after Hardeep Singh Dang, who handed a resignation letter that has been widely circulated on social media. In the letter, Dang complains he was never made a minister or given any significant post to enable him to stay in state capital Bhopal. "My fault is that I don't belong to Kamal Nath or Digvijaya Singh or Jyotiraditya Scindia's factions," wrote the MLA. "I can't waste this precious time of my life," said the leader, who was among the few opposition voices supportive of the central BJP-led government's citizenship law CAA.
Meanwhile, the visit of two BJP MLAs at Chief Minister Kamal Nath's official home drew interest. BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi showed up with state minister Surendra Singh, fuelling speculation that he had resigned, but he denied it. "I have not tendered my resignation. I had come here to meet the CM over the issue of the development of my constituency," said Tripathi. But he added "Those who talk about Sarva Dharma Samabhava (all religions are equal), Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, I am with them."
However, BJP MLA Sanjay Pathak has denied reports that he called on the Chief Minister at 1 am. In the meanwhile, there is no word yet on three more missing MLAs -- former minister Bisahulal Singh and Raghuraj Kansana of the Congress and independent MLA Surendra Singh Shera Bhaiyaa. Bisahulal Singh's son on Thursday had lodged a complaint with the police that his father was "missing".
About a dozen MLAs, including those of the Congress and its supporting parties Samajwadi and BSP, surfaced at a five-star hotel in Gurgaon near Delhi on Tuesday evening. The Congress alleged that the BJP has held the MLAs hostage to bring down the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh accused the BJP of offering Rs 25-35 crore each to MLAs backing the Congress government.
Senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hit back at Singh. "Telling lies to cause sensation is an old habit of Digvijaya Singh. He must have done it this time to pressure the government for some unfulfilled wish," Chouhan tweeted.
At present, the Kamal Nath government has 120 MLAs -- four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member assembly. Of them, 114 are from the Congress, two from the BSP, one from the Samajwadi Party and four independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs and two seats are currently vacant. If the three other missing MLAs resign, it would bring down the number in the assembly to 224 and the majority mark to 113.
|Bhopal - The City of Lakes|
|HOTELS & RESTAURANTS|
|ART & CULTURE|
|MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS|
|TECHNICAL UNIVERSITIES & INSTITUTIONS|
|MEDICAL COLLEGES & HOSPITALS|
|UNIVERSITIES & ACADEMIES|
|Tourist Attractions in M.P.|
|NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES|
|HISTORICAL & ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANT PLACES|
|HERITAGES & MONUMENTS|