By L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: It is claimed that coup d’etat planned by the BJP to unseat Kamal Nath government has ended into a fiasco. Digvijaya Singh was first to allege that the BJP is offering heavy sum ranging from Rs. 25 to 30 crore to take MLAs to cross the floor. After Digvijaya’s allegation, a sensational disclosure was made that former BJP Minister Bhupendra Singh has flown to Delhi with a BSP legislator in a chartered plane. Then came the report that BJP has managed to bring eight to ten MLAs to Delhi and kept them in a hotel.
The moment this report became public two Ministers- Jitu Patwari and Jay Vardhan Singh, son of Digvijaya Singh reached Delhi. On reaching Delhi they tried to meet ‘the kidnapped’ MLAs. But they were not allowed to meet them. But in the morning of March 4 it was claimed that the four kidnapped MLAs have been “liberated” and others will be back soon.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday backed senior Congress colleague Digvijaya Singh’s allegation that BJP is trying to lure Congress MLAs with crores to switch sides and they both asserted that it won’t work.
CM Nath echoed Digvijaya and told media persons “I entirely agree with Digvijaya Singh’s revelation. BJP is afraid because in the coming days, all the scams of their 15-year rule will be exposed. They want to do everything using money power. But my question is, where did all this money come from”.
Taking a dig at BJP, Nath added “MLAs are talking to me and I have spoken to them. They are saying so much money is on offer. So I told them you are getting it for free, take it”. Asked if there is any threat to his 14-month old government, he said “There is no need for concern”.
Congress stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia said “People have voted Congress to power. The government is running on faith of people. We have joined politics to serve”.
The political scene is heating up in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the budge session that will commence after Holi. BJP could call for a division and floor test. Also, three Rajya Sabha seats from the state go to the polls on March 26.
CM Nath said his government is always ready for a floor test. The government has successfully faced four floor tests in the assembly so far – election of speaker and deputy speaker, passing of a supplementary budget, and annual budget Last July BJP was left stunned when saffron MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voted with Congress on a bill.
What if BJP goes for a division in the budget session? Minister for law P C Sharma told reporter “Whenever there is a floor test, our numbers will increase like it happened in July. The Congress government has been in power 14 months and BJP leaders are feeling frustrated because their corruption cases will be investigated”.
Meanwhile BSP MLA Rambai is incommunicado for the past two days. All her known mobile phones are in switch-off mode but her husband Govind Singh denied that there is any horse-trading or threat to the Kamal Nath government.
Her husband tried to clear the air later in the day denying that there is any horse trading on. “I have spoken with her and asked her about the rumours. I told her to return to Bhopal tomorrow. She will be back in Damoh by evening”. He told reporters in Damoh in the evening. “There are rumours. There is no threat to the government.” He added. In the morning, however Singh had said that she had gone to Bhopal.
While Congress is facing threat from some MLAs, BJP is not free from such a threat also. BJP MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol who have given their party much grief by voting with Congress and repeatedly praising CM Kamal Nath, skipped the introductory meeting with newly appointed state party chief V D Sharma on Tuesday evening.
Coming at a time when MP’s political scene is on the boil with Congress’s allegations of horse-trading by BJP, the absence of the two MLAs sent jitters through the saffron party though no one would speak on the issue. Calls to Kol and Tripathi didn’t go through as their phones were switched off.
On Monday Kol had hit out at BJP’s national and state leaders in a video message accusing them of “supporting higher classes and neglecting tribals and OBCs in the organisational set-up.
Kol also praised the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state for providing relief to the poor through subsidized power bills. The BJP dubbed the video as fake but took no other action.
On Tuesday Kol and Tripathi skipped the party’s divisional meeting although the state leadership has cautioned all MLAs to work unitedly ahead of Rajya Sabha elections and the budget session. Asked about their absence BJP state media in charge Lokendra Parashar said “I am not really aware why they didn’t turn up”.
Congress took a dig at BJP with the state media coordinator Narendra Saluja saying “BJP is involved in horse trading but can’t keep its flock together. This shows how BJP MLAs are dissatisfied with their own party and are supporting the Congress government’s work under the leadership of CM Nath. (IPA Service)