The crisis for the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh intensified on Tuesday, with former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting Congress and 22 MLAs, including six state ministers, tendering their resignation from the Assembly. Scindia had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi this morning.
In his resignation letter, dated March 9, to party president Sonia Gandhi, Scindia said, “Having been a primary member of the Congress party for the last 18 years, it is now time for me to move on. I believe I am unable to serve people of my state, country anymore within Congress.” Follow Madhya Pradesh government crisis LIVE Updates
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) March 10, 2020
Minutes after Scindia tweeted his resignation letter, he was expelled from the Congress. “Congress President has approved the expulsion of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the INC with immediate effect for anti-party activities,” KC Venugopal, AICC general secretary, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, 20 Congress MLAs also tendered their resignation from the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
Tuesday, incidentally, marks the 75th birth anniversary of Scindia’s father, the late Madhavrao Scindia. The later leader was part of a rebellion in 1996 and had floated a separate political outfit called Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress, which was part of the third front government in 1996. However, he returned to the Congress fold later.
Reacting to the development, former Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “For some Congress leaders when Scindia ji was in Congress he was a Maharaja, now he is a mafia? These are their double standards.”
Scindia’s move has left the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on the brink a dramatic collapse and if the resignations of the 19 Congress MLAs are accepted by the Speaker, the party will be left with just 95 MLAs. Scindia is likely to officially join BJP, sources said.
The BJP’s central election committee is scheduled to meet in the evening and announce its candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. Scindia is likely to get a ticket from Madhya Pradesh, sources said.
At least 11 MLAs and six Ministers close to Scindia had snapped contact with their colleagues on Monday evening. In a late-night development, 20 other state Ministers submitted their resignations in a show of support for Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
Party sources told The Indian Express that Labour Minister Mahendra Sisodia, Women and Child Development Minister Imarti Devi, Transport Minister Govind Rajput, Health Minister Tulsi Silawat, School Education Minister Prabhuram Chaudhary, and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pradyumna Tomar were among those who have broken ties with the state Congress leadership.
Scindia’s exit comes as a setback to the Congress at the national level, signalling a growing discontent among its young leaders over the state of affairs in the party. Scindia, considered close to Rahul Gandhi, has been upset for a long time as he believes he has been ignored by Kamal Nath in the state.
On Wednesday, Shivraj Singh Chouhan is expected to approach the Governor to demand a floor test in the Assembly for the Kamal Nath government to prove its majority.