BHOPAL: In July 2019, a visibly hurt Narottam Mishra had announced, “Inhone shuru kiya hai, par khatam hum karenge” (they started it, but we’ll end it)” after the ruling Congress lured two BJP MLAs for voting on a crucial amendment Bill in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
Mishra’s statement made it clear what lay in store for the Kamal Nath–led Congress government. Much before the botched ‘Operation Rangpanchami’, according to political observers, a group of BJP leaders led by Mishra, the BJP chief whip in Vidhan Sabha, plotted to topple the Congress government ever since it came to power in December 2018.
These BJP leaders were in touch with the SP, BSP and Independent MLAs to form the government after a close 109-114 seats which slightly favoured the Congress. The plan was abandoned as it did not get a blessing from the central leadership.
“A few months later, it was the same group of leaders led by Mishra who tried to win over five-seven Congress MLAs from Gwalior-Chambal in June-July 2019, but their bid was foiled by Congress, which managed to get BJP MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol vote with allied MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha,” said Bhopal-based political analyst Chandrashekhar Mishra.
Congress insiders claimed that in November 2019, Mishra hatched a plot but it did not materialise as a senior BJP leader from Malwa-Nimar region backed out at the last moment.
Sources added that the present political drama was planned outside MP around a month ago by these BJP leaders.
“I don’t make hollow claims, as my information is based on well-checked facts. Entire plan was hatched by a group of BJP leaders, including ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Narottam Mishra, Bhupendra Singh, Sanjay Pathak and Arvind Singh Bhadoria. Some other leaders, including ex-minister Rampal Singh, too were part of the conspiracy. Many of our MLAs were offered sums ranging from Rs 25 crore to Rs 35 crore,” alleged ex-CM Digvijaya Singh.
Congress MLAs Baijnath Kushwah and Mahesh Parmar also claimed that BJP leaders, including Chouhan, had made offers up to Rs 35 crore to them.
The plan was to install a BJP government headed by Chouhan and Mishra as his deputy.
While the allied MLAs had to switch over to BJP, disgruntled Congress MLAs had to resign for reducing the Congress government to a minority.
These MLAs would get BJP tickets.
Sources said that plan was to gather the disgruntled Congress MLAs and allied legislators before the BJP central leadership in Delhi in a day or two, but with the central and state leadership not favouring it, these group of BJP leaders had no option, but to back out later.
TUSSLE FOR MLAs
Charges and counter-charges fly as MP Congress, spooked by a late-night coup, plans to issue whip to its MLAs for the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls
BJP leaders claim no role in ‘coup’
Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava and BJP state chief VD Sharma made it clear that BJP had nothing to do with the political drama in Haryana.
“The MP government has been functioning right since day one due to inherent contradictions between Congress legislators as also the allied MLAs. We’ve nothing to with what is happening,” Sharma said.