MP Political Crisis LIVE: Scindia Set to Join BJP Today; Kamal Nath Govt Stares at Crisis as 21 Rebel MLAs Follow Guna Royal Out of Congress
On Monday, surviving on a wafer-thin majority, Nath went into a huddle with Digvijaya Singh and other senior leaders at his residence before calling a cabinet meeting at around 10pm. This came after he met Sonia Gandhi in Delhi to discuss the political situation as well as nominees for the Rajya Sabha elections.
The cabinet meeting was attended by 22 ministers, all of whom tendered their resignations, paving the way for the CM to reconstitute his cabinet to accommodate the rebel MLAs. "We have expressed our solidarity with the chief minister and submitted resignations to him in the cabinet meeting," the senior minister said.
At the meeting, the CM reportedly said he will not allow anyone to destabilise his government "with the help of mafia". “I have dedicated all my life to serving the people, but the BJP has indulged in immoral ways to destabilise my government,” Nath said.
Whether the gambit keeps the government standing will be known on Tuesday when Scindia makes a public appearance in Gwalior to commemorate the birth anniversary of his father, the late Congress stalwart Madhavrao Scindia.
Amid the crisis, Congress leader Sachin Pilot tweeted that he was "hopeful that the current crisis in MP ends soon and that leaders are able to resolve differences. The state needs a stable government in order to fulfill the promises make to the electrolate".
Digvijaya Singh, meanwhile, said they tried contacting Scindia but he was reportedly down with swine flu and hence, they were unable to speak to him.
The rumblings in the Congress had started last week when it had accused the BJP of trying to topple its government after 10 MLAs of the ruling party and those of its allies travelled to Haryana, though the BJP had denied the charge.
Of them, eight had come back and many of them wanted ministerial berths, according to sources. However, two Congress MLAs have not yet returned.
To add to the woes of the party, Scindia and at least 17 MLAs, believed to be supporting him, suddenly became 'incommunicado' on Monday, leading to intense speculation.
The turf war between Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia is no secret in the state, with the two having locked horns in public last month. Scindia had threatened to take to the streets if his party's government in the state failed to meet the demands of protesting guest teachers, and Nath virtually dared him to follow through.
Scindia and Nath had fallen out over the post of the state Congress president, which is currently held by the chief minister.
Apart from Scindia, the phone of six ministers who were holed up in Bengaluru were also switched off — health minister Tulsi Silavat, labour minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia, transport minister Govind Singh Rajput, women and child development minister Imarti Devi, food and civil supplies minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar and school education minister Dr Prabhura Choudhary.
Sources said several legislators, including a few ministers, arrived in Bengaluru by chartered flights and were staying at an undisclosed location.
"It is a fight for the survival of Scindia now. It is a do or die battle for Scindia and his group which is being sidelined," news agency PTI quoted a source close to the Guna royal as saying.