Bhopal/New Delhi: The Madhya Pradesh political drama continued on Thursday with two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs and one Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator, who were purportedly “rescued” by Congress state ministers from a Gurugram hotel, claiming that nobody from BJP had taken them “hostage”. The Congress, however, maintained in Delhi that the BJP had abducted 14 of their MLAs.
Taking strong exception to their portrayal as ‘pliable’ politicians by Congress by staging the ‘rescue operation’, the three lawmakers who were among six MLAs “rescued” by two MP ministers, Jai vardhan Singh and Jitu Patwari, from a luxury hotel in Gurgaon near Delhi described the entire ‘narrative’ on ‘rescue operation’ by the two ministers in the Gurgaon hotel, as ‘white lie’.
“Nobody has taken us to Delhi and arranged our accommodation in any hotel nor did anybody rescue us. The two ministers asked us if we will be available for a chat. We were later asked to come with them to Bhopal in a charter plane”, BSP MLA Sanjeev Kushwaha told reporters here.
“It is ridiculous to say that we were kept in a hotel to be purchased by BJP. This is absolutely baseless charge which tarnished our image in public. We stood by Kamal Nath government and will do so in future”, he added.
Another BSP legislator Rama Bai ridiculed the claim by Congress veteran Digvijay Singh that she was misbehaved with by BJP leaders in the Gurgaon hotel, describing it as “not true”.
“Nobody can dare to touch Rama Bai leave alone misbehaving her”, she said.
SP MLA Rajendra Shukla also echoed similar sentiments saying that a section of Congress leaders wanted to soar up their image before their party high command and hence they staged the whole ‘drama’.
The ruling Congress here on Thursday found itself in a sticky wicket following the outbursts by the two BSP MLAs and one SP legislator who provided supported the Kamal Nath government.
“We have never mentioned the names of MLAs who were rescued from the hotel. It is true that some MLAs were missing”, Congress spokesman here Narendra Saluja said.
Meanwhile in Delhi, the Congress central leadership yet again claimed that the BJP was destabilising its state government. It accused the saffron party of trying to bring down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh by “abducting 14 MLAs” of the ruling alliance.
“The atmosphere created by the BJP in the country (is of) targeting and breaking opposition party leaders with threats of raids etc and forcing them to join or ally with the BJP so they can form government,” senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said told the media.
“Wherever other parties have made governments, their (BJP’s) aim has been to destabilise them. This fever to destabilise state governments rises when Rajya Sabha elections are due,” he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that the BJP “abducted 14 MLAs” and accused the saffron party of being hand in glove with the “mafia” in Madhya Pradesh who want to topple the Congress government in the state.
“Eleven mafias have been identified and are being reigned in by the Congress. They had been active for 15 years. The Vyapam scam is unravelling. So, this is a conspiracy to bring the Madhya Pradesh government down,” he said.
Senior Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijay Singh, both of whom lost last year’s Lok Sabha polls, are the two main contenders for Rajya Sabha berths from the state.
Digvijay Singh is a sitting RS member and is retiring later this month.
The Congress state leadership, i.e. chief minister Kamal Nath, is keen on inducting a local leader for one of the seats, leaving the fight open between Digvijay and Scindia for the one seat left.