NEW DELHI: The BJP's "fever" to destabilise state governments rises when Rajya Sabha elections are due, the Congress said on Thursday, accusing the saffron party of trying to bring down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh by "abducting 14 MLAs" of the ruling alliance.
The Congress said BJP MLAs conspired and held some MLAs hostage in a hotel in Manesar in Haryana on Wednesday, but they voluntarily came back in support of the Congress.
The 14-month-old Kamal Nath government in the state appeared to face its first major threat to survival after the Congress alleged a "poaching" bid on its and its allies MLAs by opposition BJP.
"The atmosphere created by the BJP in the country (is of) targeting and breaking opposition party leaders with threats of raids etc and forcing them to join or ally with the BJP so they can form a government," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said while addressing a press briefing.
"Where ever other parties have made governments, their (BJP's) aim has been to destabilise them. This fever to destabilise state governments rises when Rajya Sabha elections are due," he said.
Three Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant in Madhya Pradesh and they are currently held by Congress' Digvijaya Singh, and the BJP's Satyanarayan Jatiya and Prabhat Jha.
Ever since the BJP has come to power at the national level, the democracy of the country is being finished in every state one by one, Azad alleged.
"The BJP has been systematically destroying democracy in every state since it came to power. It started with Arunachal Pradesh, then Karanataka and then recently in Himachal Pradesh, despite BJP not being in majority, a BJP CM took oath," he said.
The BJP's policy has always been to ensure that states do not get any government except that of the party, Azad said.
"What is going on in Madhya Pradesh is not a first. It is perhaps the third or fourth attempt. We condemn this and if this goes on, we will take strict action against it. We urge other parties to join us in this fight. We have never done politics of this kind where we scare and intimidate people to join us," he said.
Congress leader and party chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP "abducted 14 MLAs" and accused the saffron party of being hand in glove with the "mafia" in Madhya Pradesh who want to topple the Congress government in the state.
"Eleven mafias have been identified and are being reigned in by the Congress. They had been active for 15 years. The Vyapam scam is unravelling. So, this is a conspiracy to bring the Madhya Pradesh government down," he said.
"Who paid for the charter plane to abduct the MLAs? Who paid for the five-star hotels?" Surjewala asked.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that in "the sinister design of the BJP in breaking state governments, they have hatched a plan to dig the grave of democracy in the country."
"By doing this heinous activity, they want to destabilise the Congress regime. They are putting pressure on Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh by adopting the carrot and stick policy," he said, urging all opposition parties to unite against the "authoritarian" government.
In a statement later, the party said that the Congress government in the state was stable and that the plans of the BJP will never materialise.
The BJP is now "steeped in despair" and its defeat in the upcoming by-elections to the Jora and Agar assembly seats is now imminent, the Congress said in the statement.
"That is why they have come down to the politics of toppling the government. The Congress currently has 114 MLAs, and one independent Pradeep Jaiswal is a minister. That is, the figure of 115 majorities is with the Congress," it said "Two BSP MLAs, Ramabai Parihar and Sanjeev Kushwaha, have reiterated their support for the Congress even today.
Radhe Shukla of the Samajwadi Party has also expressed her faith in the government.
Independent MLAs Kedar Davar and Vikram Singh Rana are also with the Congress," the statement said.
It said that it is also reported that BJP leaders from Delhi have "forcibly taken four MLAs to Bangalore, including three from Congress and one from Independents".