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  India   All India  10 Jun 2019  BJP waiting for ‘traitor’ to unseat Kamal Nath

BJP waiting for ‘traitor’ to unseat Kamal Nath

THE ASIAN AGE. | RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY
Published : Jun 10, 2019, 3:10 am IST
Updated : Jun 10, 2019, 3:31 am IST

The chief minister has already initiated a move to check any attempt by the BJP to poach his MLAs to pull down his government.

A file photo of Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath addressing a press conference.
 A file photo of Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath addressing a press conference.

Bhopal: BJP's recent move to ask the party’s newly elected MP from Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh to vacate his Assembly seat to retain the Lok Sabha constituency has come as a breather for the Kamal Nath government. The ruling Congress has gained “majority” for the first time after the party came to power in Madhya Pradesh seven months ago following vacation of Jhabua Assembly seat by the newly elected MP from Jhabua Lok Sabha constituency, G. S. Damor.

“We are no longer in minority in the House. We have now strength of 115, including an Independent who has joined Kamal Nath ministry, out of total effective strength of 229 in the Assembly (following vacation of his Assembly seat by Mr Damor),” Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedy told this newspaper here.

Ruling Congress may heave a sigh of relief for ‘gaining majority’ following Mr Damor’s decision to resign from his Assembly seat, but the BJP did not find it a cause of celebration. “Technically, the Kamal Nath government is still in minority, since an Independent cannot be counted as a member of treasury bench unless he joins the ruling party. The state Congress government is still facing threat to its stability and the state leadership knows it full well,” said a senior BJP leader here. The BJP leader was not totally off the mark if mechanism being put in place by the chief minister Kamal Nath to eliminate any kind of threat to his government, is taken into account.

The chief minister has already initiated a move to check any attempt by the BJP to poach his MLAs to pull down his government.

“The chief minister has undertaken several measures to keep his flock intact. Congress MLAs are divided into groups and each minister in the Kamal Nath ministry has been entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the interest of a group of Congress MLAs.

“Besides, the charges of two Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) MLAs, one Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator and four Independents who provide outside support to the state government have been given to a senior Cabinet minister to address all their grievances and keep them in ‘good humour’,” a senior state minister told this newspaper requesting anonymity. This apart, the chief minister was also mulling a proposal to award posts of chiefs of various corporations in the state to potential dissident MLAs to ensure that they did not defect, he revealed. BJP however appeared confident that the Kamal Nath government would fall due to infighting in the ruling party. “The infighting in the ruling Congress, which has intensified after loss of some senior Congress leaders in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections in MP, will cause downfall of the state government,” predicted BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal.

Sources said blame game has begun in Congress following the humiliating defeat of some veteran party leaders, particularly a powerful factional leader in Congress here, in the elections. The particular factional leader has been sulking for reportedly being forced to contest from a BJP stronghold leading to his “humiliating” loss in the elections threatening to doom his four-decade-long political career. “There is a feeling among the followers of the powerful factional leader that the chief minister put their leader in a difficult constituency with the calculation that his defeat in the elections would curb his growing influence.”

“It is not good for the unity of the party,” a senior Congress leader told this newspaper unwilling to be quoted. However, the Nath camp has dismissed the charges with “contempt”.

Incidentally, it is the chief minister who has emerged as the sole winner in the Congress in MP. While his son Nakul was elected from the Chhindwara LS constituency, Mr Nath has vacated for him in the elections, the chief minister also won from Chhindwara Assembly seat, by-election to which was held along with LS polls. However, two regional satraps in Congress in MP, former chief minister Digivijay Singh and AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, were among the 28 party candidates who bit the dust.

The BJP won 28 out of total 29 seats in MP. The saffron party felt that the popularity graph of ruling Congress would go down in the coming days with the Kamal Nath government finding it an uphill task to deal with the problems like unscheduled loadshedding, drinking water crisis and waiving farm loans.

“We are keen to go to polls to retain power in the state. We do not want to form government by engineering defection in Congress Legislature Party. We are waiting for a fifth columnist to pull the rug under the feet of the Kamal Nath government,” a spokesman of BJP here said. BJP’s strength in the MP Assembly has reduced to 108 following Mr Damor’s election to the Lok Sabha.

Tags: kamal nath government, gs damor
Location: India, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal