A big political crisis hit the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh late Tuesday night, March 3 after eight MLAs, including four Congress, two Bahujan Samaj Party, one Samajwadi Party and one independent, went missing from the state and were tracked in Gurugram by Congress senior leader Digvijaya Singh.
Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot alleged that the MLAs were forcefully kept at the ITC Maratha Hotel in Gurugram and were not allowed to step out.
Senior Congress leaders and ministers in Kamal Nath government Jitu Patwari and Jaivardhan Singh visited the hotel to meet the MLAs but they were not allowed. Patwari and Singh were seen leaving the hotel with suspended BSP MLA Ramabai, who was also among the eight MLAs kept at the hotel.
According to the latest information, four of the eight MLAs have left the hotel while the other four are still camping inside. Patwari, however, said that things were under their control and the Congress party will hold a press conference on the issue today.
MLAs offered money by BJP: Digvijay Singh
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh claimed that BJP leaders Rampal Singh, Narottam Mishra, Arvind Bhadauria and Sanjay Pathak were to give money to the MLAs. Singh said that 10-11 MLAs were there at the hotel but except four all others have come back.
"BJP's Rampal Singh, Narottam Mishra, Arvind Bhadauria, Sanjay Pathak to give them money. Had there been a raid, they would have been caught...We think 10-11 MLAs were there, only 4 are still with them now, they will also come back to us," he said.
When Congress found out about missing MLAs, Chief Minister Kamal Nath sent Jitu Patwari and Jaivardhan Singh who contacted Bisahulal and Ramabai.
"When we got to know, Jitu Patwari & Jaivardhan Singh went there. People with whom our contact was established were ready to come back to us. We were able to get in touch with Bisahulal Singh & Ramabai. Ramabai came back, even when BJP tried to stop her," Singh said.
The development comes a day after Digvijay Singh alleged that former chief minister Shivraj Singh and Narottam Mishra are trying to bribe their MLAs. They are trying to "lure the Congress's legislators by offering Rs 25-35 crore," he had said.
Last year, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava had claimed that one order from the above and Kamal Nath government will not survive for a day.
"Hamare upar wale number 1 ya number 2 ka aadesh hua to 24 ghante bhi aapki sarkar nahi chalegi (If there is an order from our top leadership, your government won't survive even 24 hours," Bhargava had said in July last year.
The 231-member Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly has 228 members at present. Two seats were left vacant after the death of their respective MLAs while one is nominated.
The Congress has 114 members while the BJP has 107 MLAs in the state Assembly where the majority mark is 115. Of the remaining nine seats, two are BSP MLAs, one is of SP and four are independents. They all have extended their support to the Kamal Nath government.