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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Madhya Pradesh: Congress MLA returns, says unhappy over not getting ministry berth

Denying that he was taken hostage by the BJP, a charge leveled by senior Congress leader and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, Bisahulal claimed he was on pilgrimage to temples in southern India.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: March 9, 2020 7:46:17 am
madhya pradesh congress mlas missing, bjp holds congress mlas hostage, congress mlas resign, kamal nath mp govt, congress govt madhya pradesh, Bisahulal Singh, shivraj singh chouhan, indian express Congress legislator Bisahulal Singh (centre) with Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bala Bachchan (left) and Narmada Valley Development Minister Surendra Singh Baghel (right) at Indore airport on Sunday. (Express Photo)

CONGRESS LEGISLATOR Bisahulal Singh, one of the three ruling party legislators missing for past five days, returned to Madhya Pradesh on Sunday and admitted that he was unhappy at not finding a berth in the Kamal Nath ministry.

“When juniors are made ministers and you are not accommodated despite being an MLA for many terms, it is natural to get angry. Nothing wrong in getting angry if your interests are not protected,’’ the Anuppur MLA said.

Denying that he was taken hostage by the BJP, a charge leveled by senior Congress leader and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, Bisahulal claimed he was on pilgrimage to temples in southern India. “BJP can’t dare to hold me hostage,” he said when asked to comment on allegations that he was taken to Bengaluru against his wish.

However, Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja claimed that the legislator had been trapped by the BJP in Bengaluru for three days.

State Narmada Valley Development Minister Surendra Singh Baghel accompanied the legislator from Bengaluru to Indore on a private airline. A state plane was waiting at the Indore airport from where Bisahulal was escorted to Bhopal by Baghel and Home Minister Bala Bachchan.

The two ministers took him to the chief minister’s residence where he met Nath. He claimed he discussed development of his constituency with the Chief Minister.

A political uncertainty has prevailed in Madhya Pradesh ever since the Congress accused BJP of horse trading and offering between Rs 25 crore and Rs 35 crore to several Congress, Independents, two BSP and one SP legislators. All except two Congress legislators have returned.

In the 230-member Assembly there are two vacancies. The Congress has 114 and BJP 107 members. Four Independents, one SP and two BSP members support the Kamal Nath government.

Bisahulal said he has been with the Congress for four decades and won’t like to join the BJP now. When asked if he had been assured a ministerial berth, he parried the question but said he would welcome a chance to become a minister, as and when that happens.

He claimed he was always in touch with his family members. When asked about the “missing person” complaint filed by his son in a police station in Bhopal, he said it was a conspiracy but did not elaborate who was behind getting the complaint filed.

The legislator returned to the state capital a day after Independent MLA Surendra Shera came to Bhopal via Delhi.

Shera had claimed he was in Bengaluru to attend a family emergency while denying reports that BJP held him hostage.

Congress legislators Raghuraj Kansana and Hardip Dang who too are believed to be in Bengaluru are yet to return. Dang has purportedly sent in his resignation on WhatsApp but Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati said he would proceed only when the legislator hands him over the resignation letter personally.

There was no word on kansana and Dang on Sunday although the Congress claimed to be in touch with them.

The BJP said the development was further proof that it had nothing to do with the legislators who had gone missing from the state and that the alleged attempt to topple the Congress government was unsubstantiated.

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