Madhya Pradesh political crisis: Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP

Top Developments
  1. Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, makes public that he has resigned from Congress
  2. Congress expels Mr. Scindia for "anti-party" activities
  3. 19 Congress MLAs lodged at a resort near Bengaluru send their resignations to the Governor
  4. Kamal Nath recommends the Governor to drop six minister, who are close to Mr. Scindia, from the Cabinet.
  5. Two more Congress MLAs quit their post.
  6. A BSP MLA and SP MLA, who are supporting Kamal Nath government, meet BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  7. Shivraj Singh Chouhan says BJP's priority is to win Rajya Sabha polls.

Congress has expelled disgruntled party leader from Madhya Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia for "anti-party activities". Meanwhile, Mr. Scindia said he has resigned from the primary membership of Congress.

Congress president has approved the expulsion of Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Indian National Congress with immediate effect for anti-party activities, party's general secretary K.C. Venugopal said.

The resignation letter of Mr. Scindia, dated March 9, 2020 and addressed to party president Sonia Gandhi, stated "this was a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year."

 

Mr. Scindia met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital on Tuesday,  just a day after 17 Madhya Pradesh MLAs supporting him went incommunicado.

 

 

Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP in presence of its president JP Nadda.

 

We will prove our numbers, says Kamal Nath

"There is no threat to the government. We will prove our numbers," says Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

The MLAs they have held hostage are in touch with me. Why did they take them to Bengaluru? The BJP must bring them to Bhopal, he adds.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders Harish Rawat, Mukul Wasnik and Deepak Babaria have left for Bhopal, said party sources.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and former CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan on his way to Delhi at the Bhopal airport said: "We are just focussed on the Rajya Sabha election and nothing else".

 

CLP meet ends; resolution passed

As the government tethered on the edge, the Congress in the evening held a Legislature Party meeting, attended by 92 MLAs, including four independents. Four Congress MLAs were missing from the meeting, say Chief Minister Office sources. 

MLAs at the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting unanimously passed a resolution condemning the attempts of the BJP to undermine democratic values and disrespected the 7.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh.

The resolution said that Kamal Nath government's crackdown on mafia and its attempts to rid the State of organised crime didn't go down well with the BJP. "That's because all these mafias flourised under the BJP".

The resolution said "Some senior leaders from the BJP had earlier attempted to lure Congress and other MLAs . In private planes took them to New Delhi and Bengaluru and conspired against the Congress. When they couldn't succeed in this, then in an unfortunate manner they try to fulfill personal ambitions of senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia  and disrespect the mandate.

"We all unanimously thank Indian National Congress president for suspending the primary membership of Jyotiraditya Scindia."

"We all MLAs take pledge under the leadership of Chief Minister Kamal Nath to take the State to the path of development and elevate its standing among the leading States."

 

Keeping tabs on developments, will take decision after reaching Raj Bhavan: Governor Lalji Tandon

On a day when Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress and 22 MLAs close to him resigned from the Madhya Pradesh assembly, Governor Lalji Tandon said he is keeping tabs on political developments and will take a decision only after reaching the Raj Bhavan in Bhopal.

Mr. Tandon is currently in Lucknow to celebrate Holi with his family.

“At present, I am a spectator. Once I return there, only then can I make any comment after seeing all things, letters in which people have made some complaints,” Mr. Tandon said responding to when will he call any party to prove majority in the House.

 

 

 

Digvijaya Singh attends meet

At least 93 MLA belonging to the Congress attended the CLP meeting at the residence of Mr. Kamal Nath, Chief Minister's Office confirmed.

Apart from AICC secretary, incharge of Madhya Pradesh, Sudhanshu Tripathi, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was also present at the meeting.

 

CLP meeting begins

Congress Legislative Party meeting begins at Chief Minister's residence.

Earlier, BJP leaders submitted the resignations of the 19 MLAs to Vidhan Speaker N.P. Prajapati at his residence.

Mr. Prajapati said he would act according to the procedure.

 

Number of resignations might increase to 30, says Bhupendra Singh

Former BJP Minister Bhupendra Singh (centre in blue jacket) shows victory sign along with 19 MLAs, supporting Jyotiraditya Scindia, who resigned from the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on March 10, 2010.

Former BJP Minister Bhupendra Singh (centre in blue jacket) shows victory sign along with 19 MLAs, supporting Jyotiraditya Scindia, who resigned from the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on March 10, 2010.   | Photo Credit: Siddharth Yadav

 

BJP leader Bhupendra Singh, who was seen in a photograph with 19 rebel MLAs, backing Jyotiraditya Scindia, in Karnataka, has arrived in Bhopal with hard copies of their resignations.

"We saw the MLAs were upset as Mr. Scindia had been continously disrespected by the Congress. There is a general sense of dissatisfaction among them," he said.

He further claimed the number of MLAs who submit their resignations might increase to 30

 

 

Another MLA submits his resignation

Congress MLA from Hatpiplya in Madhya Pradesh, Manoj Choudhary, submits his resignation, taking the number of those who have quit to 22.

The resignation letter from Congress MLA from Hatpiplya in Madhya Pradesh, Manoj Choudhary.

The resignation letter from Congress MLA from Hatpiplya in Madhya Pradesh, Manoj Choudhary.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

 

 

 

All eyes are on the Legislative Party meetings of the Congress at 5 p.m. and the BJP at 7 p.m.

The meetings will be held in Bhopal.

List of 22 Congress MLAs including ministers belonging to the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp who have resigned so far:

Ministers: Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Dr Prabhuram Choudhry, Imarti Devi, Pradyumna Singh Tomar and Mahendra Singh Sisodia.

Other MLAs who have resigned: Hardeep Singh Dang (Suvasara), Rajyavardhan Singh (Badnawar), Brajendra Singh Yadav (Mungaoli), Jaspal Jajji (Ashok Nagar), Suresh Dhakad (Pohri), Jaswant Jatav (Karera), Raksha Santram Sironia (Bhander), Munnalal Goyal (Gwalior East), Ranveer Singh Jatav (Gohad), OPS Bhadoria (Mehgaon), Kamlesh Jatav (Ambah), Girraj Dandotiya (Dimni) and Raghuraj Kansana (Morena).

All these are staying in Bengaluru, while Biasahulal Singh (Anuppur), Aidalsingh Kansana (Sumawali) and Manoj Choudhary (Hatpipalya) submitted their resignations in Bhopal itself.

State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi, a close confidant of Scindia, resigned from the party’s primary membership soon after Scindia announced that he was quitting the party. - PTI

 

 

Congress must change its strategy, says Kailash Vijayvargiya

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said “I can't comment on Scindia's joining the BJP as discussions are being held on that at the New Delhi-level. But it was already clear long ago that Kamal Nath government won't last long owing to his working style and not keeping poll promises. Even a common Congress worker felt this was the last Congress government in the State. Even New MLAs were worried about their future as Congress made several false promises to the youth, women and other voters.”

Mr. Vijayvargiya said “If you see Congress's election campaign, most rallies were held by Mr. Scindia, and he made most promises. But both Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh removed him like a fly from milk, and captured the government.”

He further added that “The Scindia family is in politics, and he can't bear this much disrespect.”

The BJP general secretary asserted that “Congress must change its strategy. On the one hand, they oppose the CAA, and on the other they support the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra which backs the CAA. A common worker is left wondering about its policy.”

 

BJP had arranged chartered planes to move Cong MLAs to Bengaluru: Digvijaya

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday parried questions on the exact number of MLAs supporting the party in Madhya Pradesh amid a political crisis triggered by the resignation of Jyotiraditya Scindia and 14 MLAs loyal to him.

Repeating his allegation that the BJP was trying to destabilise the Congress-led government, Mr. Singh told reporters that the BJP had arranged three chartered planes for Bengaluru on Monday to fly out some MLAs loyal to Mr. Scindia.

Read more
 

 

The number game

The strength of Madhya Pradesh Assembly is 230, with the halfway mark being 116. The BJP has 107 MLAs. There are four Independent MLAs, two BSP members and a lone SP MLA.

In the 2018 State elections, Congress won 114 seats, one seat short of halfway mark. Congress leader Kamal Nath became the Chief Minister with the support of BSP, SP and the Independents.

As many as 21 members have resigned to day.

The party's strength will be reduced to 94 if the resignations are accepted.

 

Another MLA resigns

19 Congress lawmakers, including Ministers, holding their resignation letters.

19 Congress lawmakers, including Ministers, holding their resignation letters.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Another Congress MLA Aidal Singh Kansana has sent his resignation to the Speaker.  With this 21 MLAs have submitted their resignations.

This includes ministers Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Dr Prabhuram Choudhry, Imarti Devi, Pradyumna Singh Tomar and Mahendra Singh Sisodia.

Other MLAs who have resigned: Hardeep Singh Dang, Rajyavardhan Singh, Brajendra Singh Yadav, Jaspal Jajji, Suresh Dhakad, Jaswant Jatav, Santram Sironia, Munnalal Goyal, Ranveer Singh Jatav, OPS Bhadoria, Kamlesh Jatav, Giriraj Dandotiya, Raghuraj Kansana, and Biasahulal Singh.

 

Rajya Sabha election, not wresting power, is our priority: Chouhan

With 19 MLAs supporting Jyotiraditya Scindia tendering their resignations, and Mr. Scindia joining the BJP becoming more evident, all eyes are on former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The speculation of Mr. Chouhan staking claim to form the government gained louder after BSP MLA Sanjeev Kushwah and SP MLA Rajesh Shukla, who back the Kamal Nath government, arrived at the BJP vice-president's residence. But Mr. Chouhan played it down saying they had come to wish him for Holi. "They are like my younger brothers, and we meet every year," he added.

Our priority is not to form a government in Madhya Pradesh, but gather numbers for the forthcoming  Rajya Sabha election, Mr. Chouhan said.

 

Yashodhara Raje hails Scindia's decision

Yashodhara Raje

Yashodhara Raje  

 

BJP leader and Mr. Scindia's aunt Yashodhara Raje welcomed him to the partyfold. Calling it a "ghar wapsi," Ms. Raje recalled her brother and Mr. Scindia's father Madavrao Scindia was a founding member of the Jana Sangh, which later went on to become the BJP.  This signifies 'ghar wapsi' of the Scindias, she added.

“Rajmata’s blood took the decision in the national interest, the new country will be created, now every distance has ended. @jyotiraditya, I warmly welcome the bold move to leave the Congress,” Yashodhara Raje, the sister of Ms. Vasundhara Raje tweeted.

The Scindias have historically been with the BJP. Our mother also wished they [Jyotiraditya and his father]returned. As for state politics, our hands have been strengthened, she added. We saw a glimpse

Those who're calling Jyotiraditya a traitor, have not read history. Would you call every India who fought in the British army a traitor? she argued.

 

Gehlot hits out at Scindia

In a veiled attack, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused Mr. Scindia of betraying the trust of the people as well as the ideology. 

"Joining hands with BJP in a time of national crisis speaks volumes about a leaders self-indulgent political ambitions. Especially when the BJP ruining the economy, democratic institutions, social fabric and as well the Judiciary," Mr. Gehlot tweeted.

Mr Scindia has betrayed the trust of the people as well as the ideology. Such people proves they can’t thrive without power. Sooner they leave the better, he added.

 

Chief Minister Kamal Nath has recommended the Governor to remove six ministers from the cabinet. They are the supported of Mr. Scindia and have resigned as lawmakers.

 

Another MLA resigns

Another Congress MLA Bisahulal Singh, a supporter of MP Digvijaya Singh declared that he had resigned as a legislator and would back the BJP. He made the declaration at the residence of BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Mr. Chouhan presented him a BJP shawl as a gesture welcoming him to the partyfold.

 

CLP meet at 5 p.m., says Omkar Singh Markam

Omkar Singh Markam, who had resigned as the Tribal Affairs Minister,  said the Congress legislative party meeting will be held as per schedule at 5 p.m. in Bhopal.

Our mission is to serve the people, not go after power. Congress gave us democracy, fought for the independence. It'll continue fighting, he added.

On the resignations, Mr. Markam said Vidhan Sabha Speaker will take a call on that.

As of now, we have the numbers. The situation will be reviewed at the legislative party meeting in the evening, Mr. Markam said blaming the BJP for "attempting subvert the government."

"This is all a result of the hideous plans of Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They play pressure politics, the Congress doesn't." Mr. Markam said.

 

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.

On Monday, though Mr. Scindia remained incommunicado to Congress leaders, he is reported to have met Mr. Pilot — who is Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister — in Delhi.

Read more
 

 

19 MLAs of Congress tender resignation

As many as 19 MLAs of the Congress from Madhya Pradesh, including some ministers supporting rebel leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, have tendered their resignation as the members of the Legislative Assembly.

The Governor's office has confirmed 14 MLAs have sent their resignation via email.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, an aide of Mr. Scindia, confirmed some MLAs supporting him have also resigned from the party.

 

 

Jitu Patwari

Jitu Patwari  

 

Jitu Patwari, who resigned as the Sports and Higher Education Minister, took a dig at the Scindia family saying: "One moment in history was scripted with the death of Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi in 1857, another with the Samvid (Samyukta Vidhayak Dal) government in 1967 and today another moment is being scripted. In all the three it has been said, 'yes we are.'"

Maharaja of Gwalior Jayajirao Scindia had sided with the British during the first war of Independence in 1857. And in 1967, Jyotiraditya's grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia quit the Congress to form the first non-Congress Samyukta Vidhayak Dal government in Madhya Pradesh.

 

Cartoonscape

Madhya Pradesh political crisis: Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP

Cartoon by Surendra

 

It's their internal matter: Chouhan

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday maintained that his party was not interested in toppling the government and termed the developments as the “internal matter” of the ruling party.

“This is the Congress’ internal mater and I would not like to comment on it. We had said on the first day that we are not interested in bringing down the government," he tweeted.

Read more
 

 

Congress wooing Scindia

Hectic efforts were underway by the Congress leadership to save the party’s government in Madhya Pradesh, and placate Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The party high command is sending emissaries, including Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot to Mr. Scindia in order to win him back. But the efforts have not borne any fruit yet, sources told PTI.

 

BJP hand in glove with mafia to destabilise Madhya Pradesh government, says Kamal Nath

Amid political turmoil in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Monday accused the BJP of attempting to destabilise the government in connivance with mafia. He said it would not be allowed to succeed at any cost.

Stating that politics of bargaining went against the State’s interests, Mr. Nath claimed in the past 15 years of the BJP regime, mafia in every sector had become a parallel government. “People were fed up with the mafia, and gave the Congress the mandate to get rid of it. I campaigned against the mafia responding to the expectations of the people,” he added.

Read more
 

 

M.P. govt in crisis

Sixteen Cabinet Ministers of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh resigned on Monday night and requested the Chief Minister to reconstitute the Cabinet. According to the Chief Minister's Office, the Ministers, including Home Minister Bala Bachchan, Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot and Law Minister P.C. Sharma, tendered their resignations to Kamal Nath at a late night Cabinet meeting.

The development capped a day of hectic political activity with Mr. Nath forced to rush back to Bhopal from Delhi after 17 Congress MLAs — supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia — went incommunicado. Several of them, including a Minister, reached the BJP-ruled Karnataka by a special flight later in the day.

The group of Congress MLAs, including at least one Cabinet Minister, arrived at Bengaluru by a special flight. Sources said these MLAs were shifted to a private resort in Whitefield.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 1:57:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/madhya-pradesh-political-crisis/article31029833.ece

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