MP crisis brews up, 10 Congress MLAs flown to Bengaluru
New Delhi/Bengaluru, March 9 (IANS): The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has been brought on the edge of a collapse as MLAs, including some ministers, close to former MP Jyotiraditya Scindia were Monday flown to BJP-ruled Karnataka by a chartered flight from Delhi.
According to airport sources in Delhi, about 10 persons, including Bankim Silawat, the son of Congress Minister Tulsi Silawat, and Scindia’s close aide Purushottam Parashar, flew from the national capital to Bengaluru in a Falcon 2000 aircraft.
A source said that the chartered flight left from Delhi at 8 a.m. and reached Bengaluru by 10.40 a.m.
Apart from the two close Scindia associates, the others were Rajyawardhan Singh, Pradhuman Singh Tomar, Giriraj, Raksha Sinoriya, Jaswant Jatav, Suresh Dhakad, Jajpal Singh and Brijendra Yadav. Attempt to contact the MLAs did not succeed as they switched off their mobiles.
Asked about who booked the flight, the airport source refused to share any details.
The shocker for the Madhya Pradesh government comes on a day when Chief Minister Kamal Nath met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi and briefed her about the current political situation in the state following the last week’s attempt to topple the government.
The party witnessed witnessed a political slugfest over the last few weeks, giving a scare to the Congress state government.
Last week, 10 MLAs had gone ‘missing’ but eight of them have returned to the state, the latest being Congress’ Bisahu Lal Singh, who met Kamal Nath in Bhopal on Sunday, after returning from Bengaluru.
Two MLAs, Raghuraj Singh Kansana and Hardeep Singh Dang, have still not been traced. Dang had sent his resignation to the Speaker and Kamal Nath.
Meanwhile, three rebel BJP MLAs met Chief Minister Kamal Nath late on Thursday as two of them have openly revolted but the third one, Sanjay Tripathi, has said he is not leaving the BJP.
Sonia meets Kamal Nath, discusses RS poll nominees
Amidst signs of trouble in the party’s Madhya Pradesh unit, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday met Chief Minister Kamal Nath to discuss the situation as well as nominees for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election.
Gandhi also met former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and AICC in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir Ambika Soni separately to discuss the party’s nominees for the Rajya Sabha elections slated for March 26.
After the meeting, Nath said any decision on the party’s nominees for Rajya Sabha polls would be taken unanimously.
“All issues were discussed with the Congress president and everything will be resolved unanimously,” he told reporters.
Amid confusion, BJP gears to announce RS poll names
With Madhya Pradesh in the grip of a political crisis, the BJP has stepped up its Rajya Sabha election preparations with the party expected to hold its Central Election Committee meeting on Tuesday on Holi, where the names of its Rajya Sabha contenders will be discussed.
The names of BJP contenders for the Rajya Sabha election are likely to be out “very soon”, said BJP sources. One BJP source said it can be out as early as in next 24-48 hours.
The CEC, if it takes place on the day of Holi, as speculated will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Union Home Minister Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J.P. Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will also be present.
In the 245-member Upper House, members from across 17 states are set to retire.
In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has only 82 members, well short of the 120 required for a simple majority. Though the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 97 seats. Attaining 120 may be not only unpragmatic but highly ambitious for the BJP. But it definitely wants to better its tally from the current 82.
A source close to Scindia told IANS that more than a dozen Congress MLAs are in Delhi and they have switched off their cellphones. There are also reports that some of the party legislators might be in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
While the BJP was tipped to lose a seat from Madhya Pradesh, where it is pulling out all stops to ensure it does not happen, it’s also likely to lose a seat from Chhattisgarh. The party may lose a couple of seats from Rajasthan as well. However, the BJP is likely to get two more seats from Assam and one each from Haryana, Meghalaya and Odisha.