The 15-month-old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh found itself in a spot of real bother after 17 MLAs including six ministers belonging to the ruling party flew to BJP-ruled Karnataka in a chartered plane. The mass desertions of Congress MLAs took place moments after former Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia reportedly met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Kamal Nath has the support of 120 MLAs including 114 from his own party. He needs the support of 116 for an absolute majority in the Madhya Pradesh assembly. If 18 MLAs decide to not return to the party, then the Congress will lose another state after Karnataka.
Scindia is reported to be in Delhi. He’s reportedly aggrieved on not being nominated for the Rajya Sabha. Scindia had positioned himself for the Madhya Pradesh’s chief minister after the Congress surprised political pundits by significantly improving its performance in the 2018 assembly polls. The then Congress President Rahul Gandhi had taken hours to pacify Scindia.
Last week, there were reports of at least 12 MLAs leaving Madhya Pradesh to camp near Delhi. However, Kamal Nath was able to persuade most rebel MLAs to return to Bhopal.
But, Monday’s development has caused considerable grief to the Congress leadership. There are reports that Scindia could well be on his way to join the BJP. His aunt Vasundhara Raje and grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia have long been associated with the BJP.
Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is reported to have arrived in New Delhi to hold talks with BJP National President JP Nadda.
Kamal Nath, for his part, has called an emergency meeting, which is likely to be attended by veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh.