BHOPAL: A day after BJP MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voted along with Congress MLAs in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, none of the senior BJP leaders, including state party chief Rakesh Singh, ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava or ex-home minister Bhupendra Singh, spoke about the action to be taken against the two rebels.
Singh chaired a meeting of senior leaders at the BJP headquarters in Bhopal on Thursday. Sources privy to the meeting said though the meeting was called to discuss the Vidhan Sabha episode, the senior leaders didn’t decide on action against the two MLAs. “The situation is totally under control. None of our MLAs have voted in favour of the government but only voted in support of a particular Bill and that too when the BJP didn’t participate in the voting and had already announced unanimous support to the Bill. The drama was done by the Congress to cover up its internal tussles,” the BJP state chief claimed.
BJP sources said a report will be sent to the central leadership while efforts are underway for back-channel negotiations with the two rebel MLAs. “BJP chief whip Narottam Mishra was tasked with damage control work and talking to the two MLAs,” a BJP source said.
Meanwhile, the Congress remained on offensive against the BJP, with many leaders, including law minister PC Sharma and Narendra Saluja, the media coordinator for CM Kamal Nath claimed that over five BJP MLAs are in touch with the Congress and the number could even touch eight. These MLAs are from Vindhya, Malwa and Central MP region, they claimed.
While the senior BJP leaders called the Congress claims “political bluff,” party insiders said the party is hawk-eyed particularly on those legislators, who don’t have core BJP/RSS background and have joined from other parties after winning the 2013 Assembly polls as Independents.Such legislators, include two from Vindhya region, two from Central Madhya Pradesh, two from Bundelkhand and two from Mahakoshal region. Some of these MLAs are said to have good personal ties with none other CM Kamal Nath himself.
For now, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath has the upper hand over the saffron party after BJP rebel MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voted in favour of his government. On Wednesday, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava had challenged the Congress government that “if the No. 1 or No. 2 of our party issue an order, we can bring down this government within 24 hours”. It seems Nath has seriously taken up the challenge of Bhargava