BHOPAL: While the ongoing political crisis in Congress-JD(S) ruled Karnataka gets bigger with every passing day, murmurs of a similar political crisis are being heard in Madhya Pradesh, where the Kamal Nath-led Congress government completes a month in office with the support of four independents, two BSP and one SP MLAs on Thursday.
The political situation remains volatile despite seasoned political campaigner Kamal Nath being in the saddle, amid claims by senior BJP leaders about strong possibility of the newly formed government collapsing much before the Lok Sabha polls.
Senior BJP leaders, including ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava, party's national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and ex-minister Vishwas Sarang have been often making statements about the "lame" Kamal Nath government functioning with crutches (allies) not likely to survive long.
Vijayvargiya, a former MP minister and ex-MLA from Mhow (Indore) recently claimed that the new government in MP is running at the "mercy" of his party and a mere "sneeze" of the BJP's central leadership can bring it back to power in the state.
Eight-time MLA Gopal Bhargava, who was recently elected the LoP in MP Assembly also dropped enough hints in this regard recently, saying, "The government won't last long, it won't be surprising if by the time the bungalows of the new ministers are painted, they might be out of it.
"These statements assume significance, particularly as the leaders of Congress, as well as its allies, have been alleging that senior BJP leaders in the state (all members of previous state government) are luring the Congress and supporting party MLAs with offers to pull down the government.
One of the two BSP MLAs, the Pathariya (Damoh) MLA Rambai Thakur recently said that "senior BJP leaders from Bhopal and Bundelkhand are in contact with her husband and making big money offers to convince me to pull down the government."
Importantly, the other BSP MLA Sanjeev Singh 'Sanju,' who is the legislator from Bhind seat comes from BJP background. He was the Bhind district panchayat president as BJP candidate and is the son of four-time former BJP MP Ramlakhan Singh.
Informed sources said the lone SP MLA, the Bijawar legislator Rajesh Shukla too has been contacted by BJP leaders.
And it's not only the allies, but even Congress MLAs who are being reportedly lured by BJP camp. Recently ex-CM Digvijaya Singh claimed that senior BJP leaders, including ex-ministers Narottam Mishra and Vishwas Sarang were trying to dislodge the Congress government by luring Congress MLAs with big offers.
"I can present before you all those MLAs of our party, who are being lured by BJP leaders with offers to take Rs 5 crores to Rs 10 crores and join the opposition party ranks, just to pull down the government," Singh had said while saying one of the Congress MLAs being lured by BJP with Rs 100-crore offer was Sabalgarh (Morena) legislator Baijnath Kushwah.
Newly appointed PWD and Environment minister Sajjan Singh Verma (Kamal Nath loyalist) had gone a step further, claiming that attempts were even made to kidnap one MLA to win him over to BJP camp.
In the 230-strong MP Vidhan Sabha, Congress won 114 seats (two less than a simple majority), while BJP won 109 seats, 7 less than the mark to stake a claim for forming a government.
The Kamal Nath government's survival is hinging on support from four independents, two BSP MLAs and a lone SP legislator.
Also, reports of Congress MLAs, including ex-minister Adal Singh Kansana, KP Singh, Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaw and Hiralal Alawa dejected over not being included in a 28-strong council of ministers, has further fuelled speculations about BJP camp trying to woo Congress MLAs.The Congress Response.
While launching the Rs 50,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme in Bhopal on Tuesday, CM Kamal Nath said "let them make all kinds baits, but I've full faith in Congress legislators and allies. I have been reading in newspapers about BJP leaders forecasting the life of my government, but what can those people do, who didn't even have the courage to face us on the ground during the recent election of state assembly speaker."
While expressing confidence that his government will complete full five years, Nath warned the BJP against any misadventure, clearly indicating that even the saffron camp shaky.
"Let me tell the BJP people that before worrying about our flock, they should be worried about their own house. I hope the BJP understands what I mean."
Just a few hours before Nath's statements in Bhopal, the labour minister Mahendra Sisodiya told journalists in native Guna district that the day Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh become active collectively, at least 10 BJP MLAs will break away from BJP ranks and be with Congress.
The Congress leaders' confidence about all BJP legislators not being rock solid with the saffron party stems from the fact that four of the 109 BJP MLAs had won 2013 polls as independents or joined the BJP from the Congress.
However, when contacted by the New Indian Express, the state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said ,"there are no plans in BJP to destabilise the Congress government in MP, all talk which is doing rounds of media circles is the figment of Congress' leaders' imagination. But if an opportunity arises for the BJP to form a government in MP, the party will not shy away."