- Hardeep Dang one of the MLAs allegedly spirited away by the BJP
- He sent his resignation letter to Madhya Pradesh assembly speaker
- The BJP has denied the allegations of poaching
One of the four missing Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh has sent his resignation letter to state assembly Speaker NP Prajapati. In the letter, Hardeep Dang said despite getting the people's mandate for a second time, he is constantly being ignored by the party. "None of the ministers are ready to work as they are part of a corrupt government," his letter read.
Hardeep Dang was one of the 10 MLAs who were allegedly spirited away by the BJP in an effort to bring down the government on Tuesday. The Congress said it managed to recover six of the MLAs from a hotel in Gurgaon, near Delhi, after a late-night rescue operation on Tuesday.
Hardeep Dang, Raghuraj Kansana, Bisahulal Singh and Independent member Shera Bhaiya remained missing. There were rumours that they were ensconced at a five-star hotel in BJP-ruled Karnataka, which, last year, saw the Janata Dal Secular-Congress government crashing after 15 rebels crossed over to the BJP.
"I have received information about Hardeep Singh Dang's resignation. I have not yet received any letter from him or discussed the matter in person. Until I meet him personally, making comments over it will not be appropriate," Chief Minister Kamal Nath said.
The Kamal Nath government has 120 MLAs -- four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member assembly. Of them, 114 are from the Congress, two from the BSP, one from the Samajwadi Party and four independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs and two seats are currently vacant. If the three other missing MLAs resign, it would bring down the number in the assembly to 224 and the majority mark to 113.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh -- who hinted at such a possibility earlier this week -- said the BJP was "offering Rs 25-35 crore" to the MLAs.
Insisting that the government was safe, the party alleged that it was part of the BJP's annual effort to increase the numbers in Rajya Sabha, where they are in minority.
Claiming later that the BJP was trying to bring 14 MLAs on its side, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "The Congress government stopped mafias - land mafia, chit fund mafia, extortion mafia... This had been going on for 15 years". The BJP "conspiracy" to destabilise the government was because "they thought they will be behind bars", he said.
The BJP has denied the allegations. "They should think why people are so angry that they don't want to stay with them," said senior state BJP leader Narottam Mishra.