Amit Shah Chairs Meet After Jyotiraditya Scindia Flies Out MLAs: 10 Facts

Sources say Jyotiraditya Scindia, once close to the Gandhis, is at present in Delhi and the Congress is trying to negotiate a compromise but a solution seems unlikely at the moment.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, 49, lost out in the race for chief ministership in December 2018

Highlights

  • 6 ministers are among 17 MLAs who have been flown to Bengaluru
  • Jyotiraditya Scindia is in Delhi negotiating with the Congress
  • He had lost the race for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister to Kamal Nath
New Delhi: The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh is teetering on the edge and sulking party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is at the core of the crisis. Sources say 17 Congress MLAs loyal to the former MP -- including six ministers -- were flown by a chartered plane to Bengaluru in BJP-ruled Karnataka. Jyotiraditya Scindia, once close to the Gandhis, is in Delhi, reveal sources, and the Congress is desperately trying to negotiate a compromise but a solution seems increasingly unlikely. Senior Congress leaders say the speed and determination with which Mr Scindia acted signals that this may be more than just muscle-flexing, that he is going for broke. Reports suggest he will join the BJP. Late this evening, Union Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with BJP leaders in Delhi, sources told NDTV. Congress's Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, held a meeting with his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Here are 10 points on Madhya Pradesh crisis:

  1. A formula will be offered to Jyotiraditya Scindia to send him to Rajya Sabha as first preference candidate, sources in Madhya Pradesh Congress told NDTV. His close confidante, health minister Tulsi Silawat – a Dalit face -- could succeed Kamal Nath as the new state Congress chief. There has been no official confirmation of this.

  2. Chief Minister Kamal Nath indicated that he is fighting back with a cabinet rejig. After a cabinet meet late this evening, 20 ministers resigned. The legislature party would meet tomorrow evening. "I won't let those forces succeed which are creating instability with mafia's help... which are creating instability in government, a government created by people of Madhya Pradesh," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

  3. Senior leaders of Madhya Pradesh BJP -- including former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and its MP from Morena, Narendra Singh Tomar -- meanwhile attended a meeting at Union minister Amit Shah's home. The BJP has called its MLAs to Bhopal for a show of strength tomorrow evening. Sources said Shivraj Singh Chouhan could be chosen the leader of the legislative party in the meeting.

  4. The Kamal Nath government has 120 MLAs -- just four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member assembly. 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. If 17 exit, the Congress will lose its second state since Karnataka.

  5. Bengaluru has been the go-to destination for rebel MLAs on the verge of switching sides from the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government. Last Tuesday, reports of nearly a dozen Congress MLAs camping at a five-star hotel near Delhi raised the spectre of the BJP toppling the fragile Madhya Pradesh government. One independent MLA was dramatically escorted out by senior Congress leaders after midnight. Later, more returned, some declaring that they were unhappy at being denied ministries.

  6. It seemed yesterday that all but two "missing" MLAs were accounted for and the crisis may have blown over for the Congress. Signs of fresh trouble popped up again today with reports of a possible meeting between Mr Scindia and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  7. The past two years have been politically less than promising for Scindia junior, whose father Madhavrao Scindia was a senior Congress leader while grandmother Vijayraje was a BJP stalwart. Two of his aunts are also in the BJP.

  8. Mr Scindia, 49, lost the race for chief ministership in December 2018 when he was able to show the support of only 23 MLAs despite his sizeable contribution to the Congress's victory in Madhya Pradesh after 15 years. Kamal Nath took over as Chief Minister and also retained control of the state Congress unit.

  9. Then Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was able to assuage Mr Scindia briefly by naming him general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh for last year's national election, along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The party crashed miserably in UP and Mr Scindia, who barely campaigned in his constituency Guna in Madhya Pradesh, lost for the first time since 2002.

  10. Over the past few months, a crisis has been brewing for the Congress with a three-way split between groups led by Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. In November, Mr Scindia appeared to drop a big hint by changing his Twitter bio to remove any reference to his political credo and calling himself a "public servant and cricket enthusiast".