In a late-night political drama in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress alleged that the BJP took eight MLAs to a hotel in Haryana as part of a conspiracy to topple the state government.
The statement of Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari came hours after Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh claimed that a senior leader of the saffron party has taken a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator to Delhi in a chartered flight, alleging that “poaching” attempts were being made by the BJP on Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh.
The opposition BJP dismissed the claim of Madhya Pradesh’s former chief minister and said his statement was aimed at ensuring his re-nomination for the Rajya Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh scheduled on March 26.
“Senior BJP leaders, including former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former ministers Narottam Mishra, Bhupendra Singh and Rampal Singh among others, have forcibly taken eight MLAs to a hotel in Haryana as part of a conspiracy,” Patwari alleged. “The MLAs told us that they were forcibly confined by the BJP leaders,” he said.
“We are trying to bring them back. Four of them have come back also but they have forcibly taken away tribal MLA Bisahulal Singh,” he added.
According to media reports, Digvijaya Singh and his minister son Jaivardhan Singh also reached the Haryana hotel to meet the MLAs.
Speaking to the media, Singh said: “The BJP was luring our MLAs and some of them fell in the trap. We reached ITC Grand Manesar where we managed to contact Bisahulal Singh and Rambai Singh and others but were hindered by the police and hotel staffers. We have taken Rambai Singh, the BSP MLA with us. She is a brave woman who despite threats returned with us.”
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said: “Things are under control. There is nothing like that. The MLAs will come back”.
According to the Congress sources, among the eight MLAs who have been taken to Haryana, four are from the Congress, one is Independent while the rest of them are from the BSP and the SP.
They added that four Congress MLAs continue to be holed up at ITC Maurya, while one Congress MLA and two Independents were moved to a resort in Karnataka.
Speaking to reporters on Monday at New Delhi, Singh alleged his party MLAs were being offered huge amount of money by BJP leaders as part of the saffron party’s “poaching” attempts to destabilise the Kamal Nath government.
On Wednesday, as horse-trading charges intensified, Nath had said he has asked legislators of the ruling camp to take the money allegedly being offered by the BJP leadership in the state if given for free.
“As MLAs are telling me about money offers, I am telling them ‘phokat me mil raha hai, toh le lena’ (accept the offer if given for free),” Nath said.