It’s raining resignations from Congress in Madhya Pradesh
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh’s former Home Minister Bhupendra Singh arrived here on Tuesday evening from Bengaluru by a chartered flight, carrying hard copies of the resignations of 19 ministers. He said five more Congress MLAs are expected to reach Bengaluru in a few hours and would also hand in their resignations, taking the total number to 24.
Singh hoped the number would touch 30 by Wednesday morning.
The 19 resignations were already mailed electronically to the Speaker, he said, but with a circumspect approach, said he would rather wait for the events to pan out instead of making any predictions.
Unexpected rain matched the political mood with a downpour of resignations from the ruling party. The Congress strength in the Assembly could slump from 117 to the below 90 mark.
Some Congressmen like state unit chief Arun Yadav still held out hope that the ruling party could wriggle out of the crisis. There were few buyers for this though.
Former Speaker Sitasaran Sharma said the party’s claims sounded hollow as of now. The House is scheduled to meet for the Budget session on March 16 and the Congress would start the day with a hopeless minority.
Former Union Minister and four-time parliamentarian Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress this morning, shortly after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi.
He is expected to join the BJP and is likely to be rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat and subsequently a berth in the Union Cabinet.
Shortly after his resignation, 19 Congress MLAs sent their letters of resignation and Raj Bhavan sources said 22 MLAs had already resigned by 5.30 pm on Tuesday. Once they are accepted, the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government will be reduced to minority.
Madhya Pradesh BJP MLAs will meet here and the BJP is expected to stake its claim to form the government. The party is likely to present former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its chief ministerial candidate.
Veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, who led a “rescue” operation last week after 10 MLAs were allegedly held hostage by the BJP at a resort near Delhi, hit out on Tuesday at a “conspiracy” to unseat the government. Singh had accused Bhupendra Singh and Chouhan of hatching it.
In response, Chouhan criticised the Congress over “double standards”, saying: “For some Congress leaders when Scindia was in Congress, he was a maharaja, now he is a mafia?”
Interestingly, Chouhan had also coined a slogan “Abki bar Maaf Karo Maharaj” to rile Scindia during the Lok Sabha elections. Kamal Nath had accused the BJP of trying to destabilise the government because it was acting against mafias.
The drama continued with Congress MLA Bisahu Lal, one of those who had resigned first, joined the BJP in the presence of Chouhan. Lal claimed there were several other Congress leaders waiting to join the BJP.