The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP of ‘abducting’ 14 lawmakers of the ruling coalition in Madhya Pradesh and alleged that the ruling party’s “fever” to destabilise Opposition ruled State governments rises when Rajya Sabha elections are due.
The Congress claimed that though the BJP held some MLAs hostage in a five-star hotel in Manesar, Haryana, and lured them , most of them voluntarily came back to its fold.
“The atmosphere created by the BJP in the country is to target and break Opposition leaders with threats of raids and force them to join or ally with it so that they can form a government”, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters at a press conference.
“In States where other parties have formed governments, the BJP’s aim has been to destabilise them. And we know that this fever to destabilise State governments rises when Rajya Sabha elections are around”, he said.
In April, three Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant in Madhya Pradesh. They are currently represented by Digvijaya Singh of the Congress and the BJP's Satyanarayan Jatiya and Prabhat Jha.
While both the Congress and the BJP are assured of one seat each with 58 first preference votes, a fight is on for the third seat. The ruling coalition has a clear advantage over the third seat if there are no defections.
“ What is going on in Madhya Pradesh is not a first. It is perhaps the third or fourth attempt. We condemn this and if this goes on, we will take strict action against it. We urge other parties to join us in this fight. We have never done politics of this kind where we scare and intimidate people to join us”, Mr. Azad said as he listed other instances when the BJP formed governments despite not getting clear mandate
“The BJP has been systematically destroying democracy in every State since it came to power. It started with Arunachal Pradesh, then Karanataka and then recently in Himachal Pradesh, despite the BJP not being in majority, a BJP CM took oath”, he said.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “11 mafias have been identified and are being reigned in by the Congress. They had been active for 15 years. The Vyapam scam is unravelling. So, this is a conspiracy to bring the Madhya Pradesh government down”. He asked the BJP to answer who paid the bills for ferrying Congress MLAs by a special plane and their five-star hotel stay”.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said “the sinister designs of the BJP in breaking State governments will not succeed”.
Congress’s Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha told reporters,“I want to clarify that our government is safe and the Chief Minister has repeatedly said that if the BJP wants to fight, they should prove their majority in the Assembly.”