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Published On: Mon, Mar 9th, 2020

Political crisis in MP,16 Cong. MLAs turns up to Bengaluru

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Kamal-nath-1NEW DELHI /BHOPAL: At least 16 Congress legislators in Madhya Pradesh have gone ‘incommunicado’, in a fresh twist to the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh. Sources have revealed that the missing MLAs, which include five ministers, are all supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia have been flown by a chartered plane to Bengaluru in BJP-ruled Karnataka.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, once close to the Gandhis, is in Delhi, reveal sources, and the Congress is desperately trying to negotiate a compromise but a solution seems increasingly unlikely. . They have been taken to Bengaluru, as per sources.
The development comes hours after Nath met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to apprise her about the political situation in the state, which has witnessed a political slugfest over the last few weeks, giving a scare to the Congress state government.

According to sources as saying the two leaders discussed the cabinet expansion as well as the coming Rajya Sabha elections slated for later this month. After the meeting, Kamal Nath said, “I have discussed many issues with her and will follow the instructions given by the Congress president.”
Hectic lobbying over cabinet expansion: Back in Bhopal, there is hectic lobbying going on over the cabinet expansion as independent MLAs are likely to be inducted into the cabinet which may be expanded after the Holi celebrations. Congress MLA Bisahu Lal Singh met Kamal Nath in Bhopal on Sunday after returning from Bengaluru.
Senior Congress leaders say the speed and determination with which Mr Scindia acted signals that this may be more than just muscle-flexing, that he is going for broke. Reports suggest he will join the BJP.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath met with senior leaders like Digvijaya Singh while the BJP, too, called its MLAs to Bhopal for a show of strength. The Kamal Nath government has 120 MLAs — just four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member assembly. 114 are from the Congress, two from the BSP, one Samajwadi Party and four are independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs and two seats are currently vacant. If 17 exit, the Congress will lose its second state since Karnataka.
Bengaluru has been the go-to destination for rebel Congress MLAs and others on the verge of switching sides from the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government. Last Tuesday, reports of nearly a dozen Congress MLAs camping at a five-star hotel near Delhi first raised the spectre of the BJP toppling the fragile Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.
Signs of fresh trouble popped up again today with reports of a possible meeting between Mr Scindia and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The past two years have been politically less than promising for Scindia junior, whose father Madhavrao Scindia was a senior Congress leader while grandmother Vijayraje was a BJP stalwart. Two of his aunts are also in the BJP.
Mr Scindia, 49, lost the race for chief ministership in December 2018 when he was able to show the support of only 23 MLAs despite his sizeable contribution to the Congress’s victory in Madhya Pradesh after 15 years. Kamal Nath took over as Chief Minister and also retained control of the state Congress unit.
Then Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was able to assuage Mr Scindia briefly by naming him general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh for last year’s national election, along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The party crashed miserably in UP and Mr Scindia, who barely campaigned in his constituency Guna in Madhya Pradesh, lost for the first time since 2002.
In November, Mr Scindia appeared to drop a big hint by changing his Twitter bio to remove any reference to his political credo and calling himself a “public servant and cricket enthusiast”.The feuding bubbled just beneath the surface as the central Congress struggled to address a leadership vacuum after Rahul Gandhi’s exit over the party’s national election defeat.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).

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