Madhya Pradesh political crisis| Jyotiraditya Scindia is BJP's Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh

BJP president JP Nadda formally inducts Jyotiraditya Scindia into the BJP at the party headquarters in New Delhi, March 11, 2020   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In a major development on Wednesday, former Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, a day after quitting the party, formally joined the BJP. 

In a bid to keep the flock together, the Congress and the BJP are sending their MLAs to Jaipur and Gurugram respectively. Over 22 Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh had resigned from the Assembly on March 10, bringing the government into a political crisis. Following the resignation of Congress leader Scindia from the party, 13 MLAs and six Ministers owing allegiance to him, sent their resignations.

The six ministers who had earlier resigned as lawmakers from the Cabinet were issued removal orders by Governor Lalji Tandon as requested by Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

Here are the latest updates:

6.00 p.m.

Spokesperson for Scindia releases videos of 'testimonies' from rebel MLAs

Congress MLA Sajjan Singh Verma, tasked with reaching out to rebel MLAs camped in Bengaluru, today morning had said they were discontent with Jyotiraditya Scindia giving precedence to his own political ambitions, which was compelling them to follow suit, and they were brought to Bengaluru under duress.  He made the remark at the Bhopal airport, after returning to Bengaluru while escorting Congress MLAs to Jaipur.

In response, Pankaj Chaturvedi, spokesman for Mr. Scindia, released a string of videos as testimonies of the rebel MLAs reiterating their resolve to continue backing Mr. Scindia in his every decision. Yesterday, Chief Minister Kamal Nath had recommended the removal of six rebel Ministers to the Governor, pending approval. Around 20 of the 22 MLAs who have submitted resignations have spoken out in the videos, pledging support to Mr. Scindia.

"A big misconception is being spread that the Congress MLAs who’ve come to Bengaluru are in touch with us," said Revenue and Transport Minister Govind Singh Rajput, one of the MLAs in Bengaluru. "We are not in touch with anyone. With full security, we have come here. All MLAs, 22 of them, have come here on their own. All are with Mr. Scindia and are happy with his decision taken in national interest. He may have taken the decision after due consideration."

Women and Child Development Minister Imarti Devi said all the 22 MLAs in Bengaluru were there on their own will, with Mr. Scindia’s blessing. "He took a wise decision of shifting us to another location," she said.

"I have also stayed in the BJP for 10 years as an MLA, but the situation was not as bad as in the Kamal Nath government. Mr. Nath never listened to us, and no work was done in my region," she added.

Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat said, "Whichever party Mr. Scindia goes to, be it the BJP, all the 22 MLAs who had submitted their resignations are together and will back him. All have come on their own and are under no pressure."

5.45 p.m.

BJP names Jyotiraditya Scindia as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh

Soon after he joined the party, the BJP on Wednesday named Jyotiraditya Scindia as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP announced the names of its nine Rajya Sabha candidates, including former Congress leader Bhubaneswar Kalita from Assam, and allotted two seats to its allies, including Dalit leader and Union minister Ramdas Athawale from Maharashtra.

5.30 p.m.

Good to be on the same team: Raje welcomes Jyotiraditya to BJP

BJP national vice-president and former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, on Wednesday welcomed her nephew Jyotiraditya Scindia’s decision to join the BJP, saying he has followed the high ideals of the legacy of Vijaya Raje Scindia. “Jyotiraditya has followed the high ideals of the legacy of Vijaya Raje Scindia and took the decision in the interest of the country. I welcome this decision personally and politically, she said in a statement here.

Jyotiraditya Scindia’s grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia was one of the founding members of BJP.

Vasundhara Raje also tweeted saying it was good to be on the same team.

“If Rajmata Sahab was here today, she would be elated to see you put the nation first. I admire your strength of character and courage. It’s good to be on the same team. Welcome to the BJP,” she tweeted.

Raje is the sister of Madhavrao Scindia, father of Jyotiraditya Scindia.


3.30 pm

This is a joyous day for BJP: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan (middle) and BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia addressing a press conference after Jyotiraditya Scindia joins the party, Bhopal, Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan (middle) and BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia addressing a press conference after Jyotiraditya Scindia joins the party, Bhopal, Wednesday, March 11, 2020   | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui


Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday welcomed former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia in the BJP.

Talking to reporters here after Mr. Scindia joined the BJP in presence of party president J.P. Nadda in Delhi, Mr. Chouhan also defended Scindia’s decision to leave the Congress.

“The disgruntlement of Maharaj (Scindia) with the Congress is justified,” the BJP leader said.

“This is a joyous day for BJP and me personally.

Today, I remember Rajmata Scindia. Jyotiraditya Scindia has become a member of the BJP family. The entire family is with BJP. They have a tradition where politics is a medium to serve people,” Mr. Chouhan said.

"She was the mother of lakhs of sons and daughters of the BJP. She contributed towards estabilishing the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in the State.

"Today, Yashodhara Raje Scindia is with me as well. The entire family is now working with the party. Jyotiraditya is a young and energetic politician. He comes from the tradition where politics has been understood as a medium to serve the public.

"In 2018, with a lot of euphoria he worked for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh. However, the Kamal Nath government has destroyed the State. They didn't keep promises, and the State has never before seen such a period of loot. The government created a record in corruption in the State. They stopped welfare schemes of the previous BJP government, and like Mr. Scindia said, farmers and women are upset with the government.

"Therefore, while exuding confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and adopting the basic mantra of sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas, he has chosen the BJP to contribute towards the development of the country. I have faith that by his joining the party, the already strong party in the State will become stronger, and even nationwide the party will benefit from his activism. We will walk together, and serve the public.

"Within the Congress, if someone was popular it was Maharaj (Jyotiraditya) of course. Now, Maharaj and Shivraj are one."

Yashodhara Raje Scindia, aunt of Jyotiraditya, said, "All his MLAs will come with us. They are not loyal in an expedient way, but stick to tradition."

2.50 pm


Scindia formally inducted into BJP

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit Congress, has arrived at BJP's headquarters. They are addressing a press conference. Before that, Mr Nadda presented Mr. Scindia a bouquet of flowers. BJP president J.P.Nadda inducts Jyotiraditya Scindia to BJP.

"The day my father died changed my life," says Mr. Scindia. "I have always believed that our goal is to help people and politics is only a vehicle to achieve this. I have tried to serve the people of the country as an MP through the Congress.

"Welfare of the people cannot be achieved through the Congress.

"The Congress today is not what it was. All our dreams have been shattered in MP. We have not been able to meet the requirements of kisans in MP. No employment opportunities, but many avenues for corruption. It was promised that farm loan waivers will happen in ten days but it was not fulfilled.

"Nadda, PM Modi and Amit Shah have given me the opportunity to serve the people.

"PM Modi has made India shine abroad. He has implemented so many schemes. I believe India’s future is safe in Modi’s hands. I am excited to work with Nadda, Modi and Amit Shah and so many BJP workers."

Mr. Nadda and Mr. Scindia don’t take any questions from assembled reporters.

2.30 pm

Ashok Gehlot in Jaipur airport to welcome MP MLAs

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has arrived at Sanganer airport in Jaipur, said horsetrading is being done in MP with the shamelessness not seen before. This is murder of democracy, he said.

Jyotiraditya Scindia has shown opportunism by quitting Congress. The party gave so much to him. He was an MP and was made Union Minister by Congress, Mr. Gehlot said.

2.15 pm

Very confident govt will survive: Nakul Nath

Nakul Nath, Congress MP and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son, on Wednesday exuded confidence that the party’s government in the state will survive and the MLAs who have resigned will soon return to its fold.

His remarks come amid a crisis for the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh where 22 of the party’s MLAs loyal to former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned on Tuesday, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse.

Read: Interview | You will see a surprise when floor test happens, says Congress leader Digvijaya Singh

“I am confident that the Madhya Pradesh government is safe. They (the MLAs) were misled and taken to Bengaluru,” Nakul Nath told reporters outside Parliament.

Asked how Mr. Scindia’s exit from the Congress would impact the party in Madhya Pradesh, he said, “It will be a dent.”

However, he added, “MLAs who have gone to Karnataka will soon return to the Congress’ fold. I am very confident (the government will survive)“.

2.00 pm

13 of the 22 rebel MLAs said they won’t quit Congress: Digvijaya Singh

Senior party leader Digvijaya Singh, while expressing confidence that the Kamal Nath-led government will win a floor test said that 13 of the 22 rebel MLAs in Madhya Pradesh have given an assurance that they are not leaving Congress.

“We are not keeping quiet. We are not sleeping,” said Mr. Singh.



Jyotiraditya Scindia likely to join BJP in the presence of JP Nadda

A day after announcing his resignation from Congress, Jyotiraditya Scindia is likely to join BJP in the presence of the ruling party’s president JP Nadda.

According to sources, the BJP is likely to name him as one of its candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh and is also confident of forming the government in the state with his help as 22 MLAs including Mr. Scindia’s supporters have resigned from the state Assembly reducing the Kamal Nath government to a minority.

BJP’s media cell sent out a message saying that an 'eminent personality' will join the party.


1.30 pm

We will prove our majority: Priyavrat Singh

95 Congress MLAs reached the Bhopal airport to leave for Jaipur after the ruling party decided to shift its MLAs out of the state. The MLAs, who reached the Raja Bhoj Airport in three buses, expressed confidence that the Kamal Nath-led state government will be able prove its majority.

State minister Priyavrat Singh said, "All the party MLAs wanted to relieve their tension amid the ongoing political situation. So, we are going to Jaipur. We will prove our majority. Independent MLAs, BSP and SP legislators are also supporting."


State minister Priyavrat Singh

State minister Priyavrat Singh   | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui


1.15 pm

Two Congress leaders to meet rebel MLAs in Bengaluru

Former Congress Minister Sajjan Singh Verma, who had gone to Bengaluru along with former Minister Govind Singh to reach out to the 19 rebel MLAs supporting Mr. Scindia, has arrived at the Bhopal airport.

"I am now taking MLAs to Jaipur, will return to Bengaluru in the evening. MLAs in Bengaluru told me they were in a fix as Mr. Scindia had left the party for personal political ambitions and they were compelled to follow suit," said Mr. Verma.

He also added that the MLAs have been caught in the crossfire.

Former Congress Minister Sajjan Singh Verma

Former Congress Minister Sajjan Singh Verma   | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui


1.00 pm

Hearts of our MLAs in Bengaluru are still with Congress: Umang Singhar

Umang Singhar, who resigned as the Forest Minister recently, said, "We want to control the situation, and therefore we decided to be together." Adding that the Central leadership wants the Congress government to continue, Mr. Sanghar said, "The way BJP has tried to lure our MLAs, they won't be able to repeat that ever again in Madhya Pradesh."

"Moreover, our MLAs in Bengaluru are still with the Congress, their hearts are still with us. There is no anxiety relating to the stability of the government," added Mr. Sanghar

Umang Singhar

Umang Singhar   | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui


12.30 pm

MP govt. not under threat, claims Congress spokesperson

Shobha Oza, State Congress media in-charge

Shobha Oza, State Congress media in-charge   | Photo Credit: A.M.Faruqui

State Congress media in-charge Shobha Oza refuted reports that the government in Madhya Pradesh is under threat. BSP and SP MLAs were in touch with Congress leaders, she said, adding that 96 MLAs, including four independent, are being taken to Jaipur.

Former Minister Jaivardhan Singh, son of Congress MP Digvijaya Singh, too stuck to this stance. "It is unfortunate that Scindia left the party. We have appealed to him for his return. I was confident that he wouldn't leave Congress. Congress Government is 100 per cent stable," he said.

"I don't believe the rebel MLAs will leave the party. When the Congress takes the floor test, we will prove our majority," he added.

We are going to celebrate Holi. Does the BJP only have the right the celebrate it? asked Sudhanshu Tripathi, AICC Secretary incharge of Madhya Pradesh.



BJP behind Madhya Pradesh political crisis, says Puducherry Chief Minister

Blaming BJP for the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Wednesday said MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath will be able to prove his majority in the Assembly.

“BJP is enacting the strategy the way they did in Karnataka. It is murder of democracy and Jyotiraditya Scindia has fallen into the trap. He will realise the Himalayan blunder very shortly,” the Chief Minister tweeted.

Read more


12.15 pm

’Madhya Pradesh virus’ won’t enter Maharashtra: Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday expressed confidence that his party-led Maharashtra government is safe and said the “Madhya Pradesh virus” will not enter the western state.

The Kamal Nath government in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh is on the brink of collapse as 22 Congress MLAs in the state resigned on Tuesday after former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party.

Amid the political developments in Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Raut said there was no cause of worry for the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.


12.00 pm

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of destabilising the elected Congress government in Madhya Pradesh

Tagging Prime Minister Modi's Twitter handle, Mr. Gandhi wrote on Twitter: "While you were busy destabilising an elected Congress Govt, you may have missed noticing the 35% crash in global oil prices. Could you please pass on the benefit to Indians by slashing #petrol prices to under 60₹ per litre? Will help boost the stalled economy."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar


11.30 am

BJP MLAs reach Gurugram

Amid deepening political crisis in Madhya Pradesh around 100 Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs from the state reached at a five-star hotel here in the early hours of Wednesday. Senior BJP source in Haryana told The Hindu that the MLAs reached the hotel around 2 a.m. from the Delhi airport. "The MLAs were accompanied by Haryana BJP in-charge Anil Jain and senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya. The two leaders later left," said the source. The television crews following the MLAs were, however, stopped at a police barricade around a km away from the hotel, a media person said.

Scene outside the ITC Grand Bharat, Gurugram on Wednesday where the BJP MLAs from Madhya Pradesh had reached

Scene outside the ITC Grand Bharat, Gurugram on Wednesday where the BJP MLAs from Madhya Pradesh had reached   | Photo Credit: Ashok Kumar


11 am

Congress MLAs reach Jaipur at 11 a.m.

Kantilal Bhuria

Kantilal Bhuria   | Photo Credit: A.M.Faruqui


Amid the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, over 80 Congress MLAs from the State are arriving in Rajasthan on Wednesday, sources said.

“The party MLAs are reaching here from Madhya Pradesh,” they said.

The legislators are expected to reach Jaipur airport at 11 a.m. and will be staying at a resort located on the Delhi Road here, the sources said.

All arrangements are being made on the directions of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, they added.



Political vacuum in Congress after Scindia’s exit

The festering resentment of being spurned for the post of Chief Minister and the State Congress chief, coupled with the Lok Sabha election upset, nudged Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, the second-most popular leader after in Madhya Pradesh during Assembly election campaigning in 2018, to abandon the party.

As election to three Rajya Sabha seats from the State close in, Mr. Scindia, anticipating another short shrift from the party, called the shots, with 19 MLAs loyal to him submitting resignations, plunging the Kamal Nath government into an imminent crisis and leaving behind a political vacuum for the Congress in the Chambal-Gwalior region, his stronghold.

Read more



A shell-shocked Congress announces Scindia’s expulsion

Moments after rebel Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia drove down to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence, Congress president Sonia Gandhi summoned general secretary K.C. Venugopal to her residence and asked him to announce Mr. Scindia’s expulsion. By then, Mr. Scindia had posted his resignation letter on his Twitter handle. In it, he said it was time for him to “move on and make a fresh start”.

The former Lok Sabha member from Guna made it clear that Tuesday’s developments were the culmination of the events that played out over the past one year. “Having been a primary member of the Congress party for the last 18 years, it is now time for me to move on. I am tendering my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress and as you well know, this is a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year,” he wrote.

Read more

Also read: Analysis | Jyotiraditya Scindia revolt a likely turning point in tussle within Congress


Analysis | Jyotiraditya Scindia revolt a likely turning point in tussle within Congress

The latest revolt and subsequent expulsion of Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia can be a turning point in the tussle between the party’s younger lot of leaders and veterans.

The episode is also indicative of the drift within the Congress and the leadership’s inability to take quick decisions.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan is another State where the veterans managed to edge out Sachin Pilot despite him being the State Congress president who led the party to victory in December 2018.

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