Sensational twist to Madhya Pradesh politics: Jyotiraditya Scindia Quits Congress
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Sensational twist to Madhya Pradesh politics: Jyotiraditya Scindia Quits Congress

March 10, 2020
  • After meeting PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah
  • Operation Rangpanchami: Over 20 Congress MLAs loyal to Scindia flown to BJP-ruled Karnataka in a chartered flight
  • 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led MP Govt. on the brink of collapse
  • Scindia to address Press Meet later today

Bhopal/New Delhi: In a sensational twist to the Madhya Pradesh political crisis, former Union Minister and four-time MP Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress this morning, minutes after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the PM’s residence in New Delhi.

In his letter addressed to Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia said: “…this is a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year.” “While my aim and purpose remain the same as it has always been from the very beginning, to serve the people of my State and country, I believe I am unable to do this anymore within this party,” he wrote.

Scindia’s move has left the Congress Government in the State on the brink of a dramatic collapse, with sources saying the influential MP Congress leader may join the BJP today and be nominated to the Rajya Sabha as its Member. Sources also said that as many as 20 Congress MLAs stand ready to submit letters of resignation, by fax, to the Speaker of the MP Assembly in a move that is apparently aimed at toppling the 15-month-old Kamal Nath Government.

Should the Government fall, it will be the second since the Congress-JD(S) Government in Karnataka last year and represent a major setback to a party already struggling for relevance after two successive routs in Lok Sabha polls.

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Reconciliation efforts 

Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and Karan Singh are leading reconciliation efforts with Scindia.  A formula had reportedly been offered to send him to the Rajya Sabha as the Congress’ first preference candidate, sources in MP Congress said. .

Unhappy with Congress 

The 49-year-old politician Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was once close to the Gandhi family, has been unhappy with Senior Congress leadership for some time now. In December 2018 he was overlooked for the CM post despite his contribution to the Congress’ victory in Madhya Pradesh after 15 years.

In August he was a surprise addition to a list of party leaders who openly supported the Centre over its decision to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

MP political drama enters Karnataka

The Congress had been unable to reach Scindia since the drama began on Monday, said former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh. This was after 17 MLAs loyal to Scindia were flown to BJP-ruled Karnataka in a chartered flight.

As of now, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Government has 120 MLAs — just four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-Member Assembly. Of these 114 are from the Congress, two from the BSP, one Samajwadi Party and four are independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs and two seats are currently vacant.

The BJP’s alleged involvement in any such operation has been denied by senior leader Narottam Mishra, whom sources had told was among those leading the plot, titled Operation Rangpanchami (named because the BJP wanted the Government to fall during the festival of Holi) to bring the MP Congress Government down.

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Scindia is expected to address a news briefing later today. The day also marks the 75th birth anniversary of Scindia’s late father and former Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia.

Digvijay dials DKS in Bengaluru

In the latest development in Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Digvijay Singh in a desperate attempt to save the Kamal Nath Government, has dialled fellow Karnataka Congress leader and the party’s trouble-shooter D.K. Shivakumar (DKS) asking him to speak to the rebel MLAs who have been holed up in different resorts in Bengaluru.

Amid the 34 Cabinet Ministers’ resignation in an apparent effort to create space for Scindia’s camp, Congress leader P.C. Sharma, still asserting confidence, said that Congress will prove majority if a Floor Test is conducted now. Over the question of the rebel MLAs, Sharma said, “They had gone to Karnataka before as well but they came back, this is all BJP’s doing.”

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