Jyotiraditya Scindia was a member of the Congress for 18 years. (Express photo by Praveen Jain)
Madhya Pradesh government crisis: After resigning from the Congress party, Madhya Pradesh leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is expected to join the BJP on Wednesday. Sources told The Indian Express that Scindia is expected to get a Rajya Sabha ticket from Madhya Pradesh by the saffron party after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah earlier in the day.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath Tuesday wrote to Governor Lalji Tandon, seeking removal of six ministers. Meanwhile, 22 party MLAs also tendered their resignation from the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
Scindia, who was a member of the Congress for 18 years, said, “it is time to move on”. Minutes later, the party expelled him for “anti-party activities”. Sources said Scindia has the support of between 17 to 20 MLAs. Sources said neither central nor state leaders of the BJP were aware of the developments, and that it was orchestrated by Shah and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
In the 230 member House, the Congress has 114 MLAs and the support of four Independents, one Samajwadi Party MLAs and two Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs. The BJP has 109 MLAs. Two seats are vacant.
Senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has resigned from the party and is expected to join the BJP on Wednesday. Here are the highlights
Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi (centre) with CM-designate Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. (Source: Rahul Gandhi/Twitter)
Madhya Pradesh crisis: In his letter dated March 9, 2020, Scindia said, "while my aim and purpose remains the same as it has always been from the very beginning to serve the people of my state and country, I believe I am unable to do this anymore with this party."
The BJP's central election committee is scheduled to meet later today and announce its candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. Scindia is likely to get a ticket from Madhya Pradesh, sources said.
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. The BJP expects a floor test to be held in the Assembly during the upcoming Budget Session on March 16.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath rushed back to Bhopal after meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi Monday afternoon when he was told to ensure that there is no threat to the government. Late Monday, PWD Minister Sajjan Singh Verma said that 20 Ministers attended a meeting at the Chief Minister’s official residence in Bhopal and submitted their resignations while requesting Nath to “restructure the Cabinet”.
Nath also met the other senior state leader Digvijaya Singh. Scindia remained “out of contact”, with party sources saying that his supporters have moved to Bengaluru.
In a late-night statement, Nath accused the BJP of trying to “destabilise” his government through “illegal means”. “The BJP is frustrated because it had lost power in seven states in the last few months and is trying to topple the Congress government before it completes five years,” he alleged.
But Congress sources told The Indian Express that at the heart of the latest tussle in the party’s MP unit is the race for the two Rajya Sabha seats, which the party can win out of the three that fall vacant on April 9, and the post of the state party chief, which is currently held by Nath.