MP crisis at flashpoint as 10 Cong MLAs fly off to Bengaluru

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New Delhi/Bengaluru, March 9 (IANS) The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh was tottering as 10 MLAs, including some ministers, close to former MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, were Monday flown to BJP-ruled Karnataka by a chartered flight.
According to airport sources in Delhi, about 10 persons, including Bankim Silawat, the son of Congress Minister Tulsi Silawat, and Scindia’s close aide Purushottam Parashar, flew from the national capital to Bengaluru in a Falcon 2000 aircraft.
A source said that the chartered flight left from Delhi at 8 a.m. and reached Bengaluru by 10.40 a.m. Asked about who booked the flight, the source refused to share any details.
Apart from the two close Scindia associates, the other lawmakers were Rajyawardhan Singh, Pradhuman Singh Tomar, Giriraj, Raksha Sinoriya, Jaswant Jatav, Suresh Dhakad, Jajpal Singh and Brijendra Yadav.
“The MLAs were whisked away from the old HAL airport soon after landing to a resort in the suburb of Whitefield,” said a party source in Bengaluru.
“We have no information if Scindia is also in Bengaluru though he was not in the chartered aircraft,” the source added.
The resort, however, denied the MP MLAs were staying in its premises.
Attempt to contact the MLAs did not succeed as they switched off their mobiles.
The ruling BJP’s Karnataka unit denied any role in the Congress crisis.
“I don’t think any of our party leader or member will be able to confirm or deny about the Congress crisis in MP. You should ask them (Congress,” party’s state unit spokesman G. Madhusudhana said.
The shocker for the Madhya Pradesh government comes on a day when Chief Minister Kamal Nath met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi and briefed her about the current political situation in the state following the last week’s attempt to topple the government.
Soon after returning from New Delhi on Monday evening, Kamal Nath was huddled in a meeting with veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and senior Cabinet colleagues at his residence.
The party witnessed a political slugfest over the last few weeks, giving a scare to the state government.
Since Scindia lost in the May 2019 general elections from the Guna Lok Sabha seat, he has been trying to become the party’s state unit chief, a post which the Chief Minister continues hold on to, despite this being against the party’s one man, one post principle.
A tussle is also underway between Nath and Scindia over the filing of 3 nominations to the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections on March 26.
Last week, 10 MLAs had gone ‘missing’ but eight of them have returned to the state, the latest being Congress’ Bisahu Lal Singh, who met Kamal Nath in Bhopal on Sunday, after returning from Bengaluru.
Two MLAs, Raghuraj Singh Kansana and Hardeep Singh Dang, have still not been traced. Dang had sent his resignation to the Speaker and Kamal Nath.
Meanwhile, three rebel BJP MLAs met Chief Minister Kamal Nath last week as two of them have openly revolted but the third one, Sanjay Tripathi, has said he is not leaving the BJP.

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