MP Congress Accuses BJP of Poaching, MLAs Held in Gurugram

The development comes after Digvijay Singh alleged that BJP was trying to destabilise the Madhya Pradesh government.

6 min read

In a drastic political development in Madhya Pradesh, ruling party Congress has accused the BJP of trying to poach its MLAs. Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that at least four MLA of the Congress-led government were allegedly being “held against their will” at a hotel in Gurugram by the BJP.

In the evening of Wednesday, 4 March, a group of Congress, BSP and SP MLAs arrived in Bhopal in a special plane, along with Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot, PTI reported.

Their exact number was not immediately known, a senior Congress leader said.

Sources told The Quint that 3 Congress MLAs and 1 independent MLA are still being held in Bangalore, Karnataka.

Independent MLA from Burhanpur, Surendra Singh told The Quint that he is in Banglore with his family on a “personal trip.”

“I'm in Bangalore. I’ve come here with my wife and other staff. I’m here on a personal trip. I don't know if other MLAs here,” he said.


CM Kamal Nath Slams BJP

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday, 4 March, said that the BJP is trying to destabilise MP government. Nath said the BJP “killed democracy and constitutional values” in many states, including Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, and is trying to replicate the same in Madhya Pradesh.

“We have full faith in all our MLAs, we have no doubt on their integrity, honesty. The truth of this black money earned from corruption and scams has been revealed and all BJP’s conspiracies will fall flat on its face,” he added.

“BJP, with the help of mafias, has been unsuccessfully trying to destabilise the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. We have a full majority in the Assembly which we have proved during the passage of Budget and election of Speaker, Deputy Speaker.”
Kamal Nath, CM of MP

Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Narottam Mishra said "MLAs do keep in touch with me, Congress MLAs are not able to get their work done, it increases discontentment as they are answerable to the people. 15-20 MLAs are in our contact."

Speaking to NDTV, Madhya Pradesh Minister Tarun Bhanot earlier said that four Congress MLAs and four independent MLAs supporting the government were being forcefully kept at the ITC Maratha hotel in Gurugram.

The BJP has denied making any attempts at destabilising the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.

‘Why Are They Blaming BJP?’ Says Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Reacting to Congress' allegations that BJP is attempting horse-trading of MLAs, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister & BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Hum aisi kisi bhi gatividhi mein shaamil nahi hain, lekin apne bojh se agar kuch hota hai toh woh jaane (We are not involved in any such activity, but if something happens on its own, then they would know more about it).

Chouhan added, “Maamla unke ghar ka hai, aarop hum par lagate hain. Unka kaam kewal aarop lagana hai. Ab itne gutt hain Congress mein ki aapas mein hi maaram maar machi hui hai (The matter is an internal one of their party, but they are blaming us. The job of the Congress party is to make accusations. What is happening in the Congress is a result of the infighting in their party)."


‘MLAs Coming Back to Us,’ Claims Digvijay Singh

“It is an old practice of BJP, but they will not succeed, we are all together. There is no danger to the Madhya Pradesh government.”
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress leader

Bhanot had earlier told NDTV, “One of our MLAs and former minister Bisahulal Singh rang us and informed us that they have been forcefully kept at the ITC Maratha Hotel in Gurugram and not being allowed to go out. Our two ministers, Jaivardhan Singh and Jeetu Patwari, who went to the concerned hotel in Gurugram to meet the eight MLAs after getting the phone call from one of the legislators, are not being allowed entry in the hotel.”

In visuals shared by news agency ANI, Patwari and Jaivardhan Singh can be seen leaving from the hotel along with MLA Ramabai who was also allegedly being held there.

Speaking to ANI later, Patwari said, “Things are under control. We will do a press conference on Wednesday.”

Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh, while speaking to ANI said that all those MLAs who Patwari and Jaivardhan Singh were able to meet at the hotel are ready to come back to the Congress.

“People with whom our contact was established were ready to come back to us. We were able to get in touch with Bisahulal Singh and Ramabai. Ramabai came back, even when BJP tried to stop her,” he said.

On being asked if there was any danger to the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh he said that, “There is no danger, we all are united.”

“BJP’s Rampal Singh, Narottam Mishra, Arvind Bhadauria, Sanjay Pathak were going to give them money. Had there been a raid, they would have been caught. We think 10-11 MLAs were there, only four are still with them now, they will also come back to us,” he added.

The dramatic development comes after Digvijay Singh on Monday claimed that the BJP is trying to destabilise the government in the state.

Singh had alleged that Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Narottam Mishra, were trying to lure the Congress MLAs and accused them of offering Rs 25 to 35 crore to the legislators.

“I want to warn the BJP that it is not Karnataka. Not a single Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh is for sale,” Digvijay Singh had said.

“I have never made any allegations. Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Narottam Mishra both had a dispute over who will become the Chief Minister. But, now it has been decided that one would be Chief Minister and the other Deputy Chief Minister. To fulfill their dreams, both together have been approaching the MLAs. This is not going to be tolerated,” he had alleged.

‘Was Offered Rs 25 Crore,’ Congress MLA Had Claimed

Congress MLA Baijnath Kushwaha on Tuesday, too had claimed that BJP leaders were offering him Rs 25 crore.

“People have been offering me money and I asked them who was giving the money and place where the amount will be delivered,” Kushwaha was quoted by IANS as saying.

Some men said they had been sent by (former chief minister) Shivraji, (Union Minister) Narendra Singh Tomar and (BJP chief whip in the state Assembly) Narrotam Mishra, he alleged.

Kushwaha claimed he was offered Rs 25 crore or a ministerial berth and Rs 5 crore.

State BJP chief spokesman Deepak Vijayvargiya on Tuesday had dismissed Kushwaha's claims, terming them as “a bunch of lies”.

“There is an internal fight going on in the Congress and different factions are spreading a bunch of lies to dwarf each other,” he told IANS.

In July, last year, leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava, had attacked the Kamal Nath government in the state assembly, saying, “One order from the top and your government won't survive.”

Veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh wants to get re-elected to the Rajya Sabha and wants to rock Jyotiraditya Scindia's boat as he is also seeking entry to the Upper House, he added.

Out of the 228-member state assembly, the Congress has 114 seats and formed the government with the help of two BSP, one SP and four independent legislators. Two seats are currently vacant after the death of the respective MLAs.

‘No Attempt Being Made to Destabilise MP Govt’: BJP

The BJP on Wednesday denied the charge that it was trying to destabilise the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, reports PTI.

"The allegations are very unfortunate. The BJP has nothing to do with it. The BJP is making no such effort," Madhya Pradesh BJP chief VD Sharma told reporters, when asked about Congress' allegation of attempts to destabilise the state government.

Sharma said this is the Congress’ “internal tussle” and the answer should come from Chief Minister Kamal Nath and senior party leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya.

His remarks came after Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari told PTI that some BJP leaders have allegedly taken eight MLAs from the state to a hotel in Haryana as part of a conspiracy to topple the Nath government.

"The BJP has nothing to do with the entire episode... this is a blackmail government. This is a ragtag government," he added.

(With inputs from NDTV, ANI and IANS)

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