Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is purportedly heard saying in an audio clip that the BJP Central leadership had decided that the Kamal Nath governmen t should fall, in contrast to his previous remarks denying the party’s role in it.
“...But there is one question. The Central leadership decided that the government should fall. They will ruin and destroy everything,” he reportedly told party workers in Indore on Monday.
When 22 Congress MLAs , with at least 19 pledging support to Jyotiraditya Scindia, crossed over to the BJP effecting the fall of the Kamal Nath government in March, Mr. Chouhan had asserted this was a result of infighting in the Congress and distanced the BJP from it.
Mr. Chouhan made the recent remarks in the Sanwer Assembly constituency, while exhorting party workers to support BJP Minister Tulsiram Silawat’s candidature in the coming byelection to 24 seats.
Sanwer was represented by Mr. Silawat, who was the Health Minister in the Congress regime.
Also read: | Political vacuum in Congress after Scindia’s exit
“...And you tell me, without Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tulsi bhai could the government have fallen? There was no other way. He was a Minister there too, but he didn’t think of becoming the Chief Minister,” Mr. Chouhan is heard saying of Mr. Silawat.
Pointing to the impending byelection, Mr. Chouhan purportedly said, “And if Tulsi doesn’t become an MLA, will I continue to be the Chief Minister? Will the BJP government be saved? That’s why it’s the duty of every BJP worker, they shouldn’t think he came from somewhere else...that Tulsi Silawat is not fighting the election, you all are fighting it...This is the question of BJP’s dignity and honour.”
Mr. Chouhan further said workers should prove, “BJP’s decision was correct” by helping it win the election. “Even now the BJP government will be there, and when the Assembly election are held again the BJP will come to power. The Congress shouldn’t be left with any space to even keep its foot,” he said.
Nothing new: Cong.
Reacting to the remarks, State Congress leader Shobha Oza said, “This is nothing new, and this is not the first State the BJP grabbed by muscle and money power. Wherever people have rejected them, they have taken this other route to come to power.”
Ms. Oza, former State Congress media chief, further said everyone knew the BJP had indulged in horse-trading although they maintained the government fell owing to infighting.
Meanwhile, State BJP media incharge Lokendra Parashar said he could comment only after listening to the audio clip. BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who Mr. Chouhan is heard mentioning in the audio clip, could not be reached over phone.