- Over 20 MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia quit Congress
- Both parties sequestered MLAs in hotels outside the state
- Videos released of MLAs claiming support to Mr Scindia
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP yesterday after quitting the Congress, heads to Madhya Pradesh today amid turmoil for the state Congress government, which faces collapse. More than 20 MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia have quit the Congress, setting off a tense fight for numbers.
Both the BJP, which seems to be in a position to topple the Kamal Nath government, and the Congress, have sequestered their MLAs in hotels outside the state; the BJP is guarding its flock at a resort in Gurgaon in the party-ruled Haryana and the Congress has put up its lawmakers in Rajasthan's Jaipur.
As Mr Scindia joined the BJP yesterday, the Congress claimed that the MLAs who followed him out of the party - they were flown to Bengaluru on Monday in a special flight -- are reluctant to join the BJP. The Congress's chief troubleshooter DK Shivakumar said he was in touch with the rebels in Bengaluru and most of them were ready to return. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's aides also claimed that state ministers had complained about being forced to resign by Mr Scindia.
Mr Scindia's supporters hit back with a series of videos of MLAs claiming they were with him.
The BJP has released the audios clips of six rebel former ministers who asserted that they had left the Congress of their own volition and continued to support Mr Scindia after his move to the BJP.
Video clips of Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, Imarti Devi, Prabhuram Choudhary and Pradyumna Singh Tomar on Wednesday flooded social media, and were being telecast by TV channels.
The clips were in circulation through the day after Mr Scindia joined the BJP in Delhi.
"If Maharaj (Mr Scindia) asks me or if I feel that I need to jump into a well, I will even that for Maharaj," former Madhya Pradesh minister Imarti Devi says in one such video.
Another former minister, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, says: "Jyotiraditya Scindia has not betrayed anybody. Rather the Congress and Kamal Nathji have betrayed him. Congress came to power in Madhya Pradesh after 15 years due to the hard labour put in by Scindia... We will go where Jyotiraditya Scindia goes. We are united."
A third minister, Prabhuram Choudhary, says on camera: "We all 22 MLAs are one today and will remain united tomorrow. We have resigned willingly."
"I am here of my free will, no one forced me," declares Raksha Sironia, an MLA.