Bhopal, March 10 (IANS) All the 20 cabinet ministers of the Congress government present in Bhopal handed over their resignations to Chief Minister Kamal Nath at around 11.30 p.m. on Monday. The sources in the party say barring the eight ministers of Jyotiraditya Scindia camp have made way for Chief Minister Kamal Nath to reconstitute the ministry while the crisis showed no signs of being resolved at midnight.
State PWD Minister Sajjan Singh Verma told spoke to newsmen at around 11.40 p.m. that Congress would foil all the moves of the opposition to destabilise the democratically elected government .
Verma and MP Forest Minister Umang Singhar claimed that the Congress government in MP was in no danger.
On the other hand, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is learnt to have met senior BJP leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi and claimed that about 40 MLAs were with him.
State Commercial Taxes Minister Brijendra Singh Rathore and Power Minister Priyavrat Singh also confirmed that 20 cabinet ministers had resigned. Rathore still asserted that the Congress government in MP would complete five years in office.
Singhar said Scindia was very much with the Congress.
State Home Minister Bala Bachchan also claimed that since the council of ministers was to be reconstituted, it was a definite sign that the Congress government was totally safe. “All is well,” asserted Bachchan.
Addressing the meeting, Kamal Nath said: “I will not allow anyone to destabilize my government with the help of mafia.”
“I have dedicated all my life in serving the people, but BJP has indulged in immoral practices to topple the government,” Nath said.
My biggest strength is people”s faith and their love showered on me. I will not allow any-one to destabilize the government elected by the people, he said.
Earlier, the Chief Minister remained engaged in trouble shooting exercise to save his minority government on a sticky wicket after several MLAs flew at the instance of Jyotiraditya Scindia flew to Bengaluru.
To add to the woes of the ruling party in Madhya Pradesh – many MLAs including ministers belonging to the camp of Scindia, who is posturing to get his upper house berths on Monday flew to Bengaluru.
Scindia”s camp Madhya Pradesh Ministers Tulsi Silavat, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, Govind Singh Rajput, Imarti Devi, Pradyumna Singh Tomar and Dr Prabhura Choudhary remained incommunicado keeping their phones switched off.
It is a fight for the survival of Scindia now.
Earlier in the day, a section of Congress leaders, mostly of Kamal Nath camp demanded that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra be nominated from the state for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls apparently to thwart Scindia”s chance to reach the Upper House.
Scindia and Nath have fallen out over the post of the state Congress president, which is currently held by the chief minister.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, once close to the Gandhis, has stayed back in Delhi and the Congress is making frantic attempts to negotiate a compromise that looks very difficult under the current circumstances.
Senior leaders say the speed and determination with which Mr Scindia acted signals that this may be more than just muscle-flexing and he might have decided to play for a finish. As reports suggested he was headed toward BJP Union Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with his party leaders in Delhi.
A formula could still be offered to Scindia to send him to Rajya Sabha as first preference candidate.
His close confidante, health minister Tulsi Silawat – a Dalit face — could succeed Kamal Nath as the new state Congress chief.
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.
Shivraj meets Shah on MP, BJP to send key leader to Bhopal
Sensing an opportunity to dislodge the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh with MLAs of the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp in a rebellious mood, former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met Home Minister Amit Shah here on Monday night.
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was also present at the meeting, which began at 9.30 p.m. and continued till 11 p.m. It was decided that BJP Vice President and Madhya Pradesh in charge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe will be sent to Bhopal on Tuesday.
Sahasrabuddhe will also be present at the meeting of the BJP legislature party at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Sources connected to the BJP said that the party is ready to send Scindia to the Rajya Sabha. It could also make him a Union Minister.
In the event of the Kamal Nath government collapsing and the BJP returning to power in the state, a lawmaker from the Scindia camp could also be accommodated as Deputy Chief Minister, they said.
The sources also said that all this has been conveyed to Scindia, and now it is upto him to decide what he wants to do.
With the Congress not reportedly agreeing to Scindia”s demand for being made the state chief and a Rajya Sabha berth, he could soon take a decisive measure to safeguard his political future.