BHOPAL: Even as the power play in Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh saw an intriguing new twist on Monday, the party leaders claimed there was no threat to the government. At an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday night, 20 of the 28 members of the cabinet headed by Chief Minister Kamal Nath, tendered their resignations to the CM.
“Around 20 ministers who attended the cabinet meeting have submitted their resignations to Nath and requested him to reconstitute his ministerial team in fully fresh manner. There is no threat to the government and everyone, including Jyotiraditya Scindia are with the Congress,” state PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma, a CM loyalist, told journalists after the meeting. His words were seconded by two other ministers, including public relations minister PC Sharma and forest minister Umang Singhar.
However, six ministers, who are untraceable and are believed to be with the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp, did not attend the emergency cabinet meeting.Sources in the Congress said Scindia, who has been keeping a close tab on the dramatic political developments in the state over the last few days, could be flexing his muscles as he and his loyalists know that this is the ideal time to get their long standing concerns and demands attended by the AICC leadership.
Nath, who had flown to Delhi on Sunday night, returned to Bhopal on Monday evening after discussions with central Congress leaders, including AICC president Sonia Gandhi. Before leaving for Bhopal, Nath told journalists that he discussed an array of issues with the top party leadership in Delhi and there is complete unanimity on who will be sent to Rajya Sabha from MP. “We’ll hold meetings with party leaders in Bhopal in the evening and chalk out our future strategy,” said Nath.
All Congress MLAs (presently the party has 114 MLAs in the 230-member Vidhan Sabha) have been called to Bhopal on Tuesday morning, while a meeting of BJP MLAs is slated for evening. The BJP has 107 MLAs in the Assembly. Speculation is rife that while Scindia may the party’s pick for Rajya Sabha, a close confidante of his would be the next state Congress chief. The BJP MLAs will hold a meeting in Bhopal on Tuesday evening. It is speculated that former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan could be elected the leader of Opposition in the Assembly.