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Crisis over ‘poaching’ of Congress MLAs in MP has ‘blown over’, says Digvijaya Singh

The 15-month-old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh led by Kamal Nath was pushed to the brink after eight MLAs, including four Congress, two Bahujan Samaj Party, one Samajwadi Party and one independent, went missing from the state.

SNS | New Delhi |

The crisis over “poaching” of Congress MLAs that began with the overnight detention in a hotel in Gurugram in Haryana on Tuesday ended with their “release” on Wednesday.

They were being brought back to Bhopal. Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh announced on Wednesday that the crisis had blown over.

Meanwhile, political observers, however, see the crisis being manufactured for political mileage.

Some others including the Chief Minister Kamal Nath, are dismissing the whole drama as a non-event.

Kamal Nath has maintained that things are “under control” and others Congress leaders including Digvijaya Singh have asserted that there is no danger to the Madhya Pradesh government.

The Madhya Pradesh Congress has accused former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of being the mastermind behind the whole drama.

Singh had on Monday said former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his senior colleague Narottam Mishra had offered to pay Rs 25 crore to each of the eight MLAs to help BJP bring down the Kamal Nath government.

In the 231-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, the Congress has a strength of 114 MLAs and the BJP has 107. Of the remaining nine seats, two are with the BSP while the Samajwadi Party has one MLA. There are four independents in the assembly.

The 15-month-old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh led by Kamal Nath was pushed to the brink after eight MLAs, including four Congress, two Bahujan Samaj Party, one Samajwadi Party and one independent, went missing from the state. They were tracked in Gurugram by Congress senior leader Digvijaya Singh.

In a late-night ‘rescue’ operation headed by former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, one of the MLAs was brought back.

Around 2 am, Congress leaders Jitu Patwari and Digvijaya Singh’s son Jai Vardhan Singh, both ministers in the Kamal Nath government, reached a luxury hotel in Haryana and brought back suspended BSP MLA Ramabai.

The development came a day after Digvijaya Singh accused the BJP of poaching its party Legislators to topple the Congress government in the state.

Singh had alleged that the MLAs were being offered huge cash in lieu of support to the BJP.

Meanwhile, terming the charge as “unfortunate”, Madhya Pradesh BJP chief VD Sharma alleged that the Congress-led dispensation in the state was a “blackmail” government.

Meanwhile, the resentment within the state Congress is out in the open. Many senior party MLAs have been openly demanding ministerial berths. The Jyotiraditya Scindia faction, which has at least nine MLAs, has been complaining about the overbearing attitude of the bureaucracy.

Digvijaya Singh and Vivek Tankha, both Rajya Sabha members, have a grouse against Kamal Nath who is holding on to the PCC chief’s post.

They were both asked to contest the Lok Sabha elections against their wishes and lost heavily. Tankha on Wednesday said Kamal Nath must address the basic issue of resentment in the party by letting someone else take charge as PCC chief.

However, Congress is apprehensive about the developments as it lost its coalition government in Karnataka after more than 10 MLAs resigned and switched to the BJP.