This Article is From Mar 10, 2020

After Flight Of MLAs, "Unreachable" Jyotiraditya Scindia Riles Congress: 10 Points

Madhya Pradesh crisis: Reports suggest Jyotiraditya Scindia will join the BJP. The Kamal Nath government has 120 MLAs -- just four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member assembly

Kamal Nath indicated he's fighting back with a cabinet rejig on Jyotiraditya Scindia's move

Bhopal: The ruling Congress in Madhya Pradesh led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath is facing a huge crisis after 17 MLAs loyal to sulking party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia took a chartered flight to Bengaluru, signalling an exodus from the government that has a slim majority. Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP has said his party has nothing to do with the crisis. "This is Congress's internal matter and I would not like to comment on it. We had said on the first day that we are not interested in bringing down the government," Mr Chouhan said. Mr Scindia suddenly surfaced this morning with BJP chief Amit Shah and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has refused to speak to senior Congress leaders, reinforcing speculation that he is headed to the BJP.

Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. At least 17 Congress MLAs - including six ministers - loyal to Mr Scindia were flown by a chartered plane to Bengaluru in BJP-ruled Karnataka. Three more are preparing to leave, sources said, taking the total number of rebels to 20.

  2. The Congress's Digvijaya Singh has said they haven't been able to reach Mr Scindia yet. "We tried to contact Scindia ji but it is being told that he is suffering from swine flu, so haven't been able to speak to him," Mr Singh said.

  3. 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.

  4. A formula will be offered to Mr 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.

  5. Kamal Nath indicated that he is fighting back with a cabinet rejig. After a cabinet meet on Monday evening, 20 ministers resigned. The legislature party would today 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.

  6. 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 today evening. Sources said Shivraj Singh Chouhan could be chosen the leader of the legislative party in the meeting.

  7. 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.

  8. It seemed on Sunday 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 on Monday with reports of a possible meeting between Mr Scindia and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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