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MP crisis | PM Modi arrives at BJP HQs, Jyotiraditya Scindia expected to reach soon

All the 20 cabinet ministers of the Congress government present in Bhopal handed over their resignations to Chief Minister Kamal Nath at around 11.30 pm Monday.

SNS | New Delhi |

The political crisis in the 15-month-old Madhya Pradesh government, led by Kamal Nath, deepened on Monday as 17 MLAs, including six ministers, close to former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is also a close aid of Rahul Gandhi, flew to the BJP-ruled Karnataka in a chartered plane.

As per the reports, the leader flew to Bengaluru in a Falcon 2000 aircraft which left for Delhi at 8 am and reached Bengaluru by 10:40 am.

According to IANS, these MLAs include Bankim Silawat, the son of Congress Minister Tulsi Silawat, and Scindia’s close aide Purushottam Parashar, Rajyawardhan Singh, Pradhuman Singh Tomar, Giriraj, Raksha Sinoriya, Jaswant Jatav, Suresh Dhakad, Jajpal Singh and Brijendra Yadav.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath indicated that he is fighting back with plans for a cabinet rejig. After a cabinet meet late on Monday, 20 ministers resigned.

All the 20 cabinet ministers of the Congress government present in Bhopal handed over their resignations to Chief Minister Kamal Nath at around 11.30 pm Monday. The sources in the party say barring the eight ministers of Jyotiraditya Scindia camp, have made way for Nath to reconstitute the ministry while the crisis showed no signs of being resolved at midnight.

State PWD Minister Sajjan Singh Verma told spoke to newsmen at around 11.40 pm that Congress would foil all the moves of the opposition to destabilize the democratically elected government.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Rahul Gandhi reached the residence of Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath in Delhi to discuss the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh after several MLAs close to former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia flew to Bengaluru and went incommunicado keeping their phones switched off.

It is learnt that a legislative party meeting of the Congress will take place in Bhopal on Tuesday evening.

On the other hand, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is learnt to have met senior BJP leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi and claimed that about 40 MLAs were with him.

However, the state Congress leaders have claimed that the government in MP was in no danger and that Scindia was very much with the Congress.

State Home Minister Bala Bachchan also claimed that since the council of ministers was to be reconstituted, it was a definite sign that the Congress government was totally safe. “All is well,” asserted Bachchan.

Meanwhile, in the late night meeting, Chief Minister Kamal Nath asserted that he “will not allow anyone to destabilize his government with the help of mafia.”

“I have dedicated all my life in serving the people, but BJP has indulged in immoral practices to topple the government,” Nath said. My biggest strength is people’s faith and their love showered on me. I will not allow any-one to destabilize the government elected by the people, he said.

Scindia and Kamal Nath have fallen out over the post of the state Congress president, which is currently held by the chief minister.

BJP too has had anxious moments and called a meeting of its 107 MLAs on Tuesday ahead of the March 16 budget session of the state Assembly and the Rajya Sabha polls for three seats scheduled on March 26.

Parallel meetings took place in the BJP camp – a crucial meet attended by the party’s former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan which was held at the home of Union Minister Amit Shah.

The Congress is making all attempts to negotiate a compromise with but a solution seems increasingly unlikely.

The shocker for the Madhya Pradesh government came on a day when Chief Minister Kamal Nath met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi and briefed her about the current political situation in the state following last week’s attempt to topple the government.

Currently, there are 228 MLAs in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly (election in seats of two sitting MLAs has not taken place yet).

A party needs to have 115 seats to form government in the state.

The Congress is one short of the majority mark but it is supported by one Samajwadi Party MLA and two legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

But if the 17 MLAs resign, the majority mark in the assembly will come down to 106, paving way for the BJP (which has 107 MLAs) to stake claim of the government.