Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in presence of party president JP Nadda, a day after quitting the Congress party. Along with him, as many as 22 Congress MLAs had also resigned on Tuesday.
BJP has named Scindia as one of the two nominees for Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, according to reports.
Party president Sonia Gandhi had immediately expelled Scindia from the Congress for “anti-party activities”, soon after his resignation. Speculations of Scindia joining the BJP started going around after the former Congress leader met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Tuesday.
After joining the BJP, Scindia said that his aim has always been to serve people and politics is a means to fulfil that. Attacking the Congress, he said that the party is not what it used to be. “The dream that we saw for Madhya Pradesh has been shattered in 18 months.”
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told PTI that 13 of the 22 MLAs have given an assurance that “they are not leaving the Congress”.
On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of “destabilising” the elected government in Madhya Pradesh. He tweeted that while Modi was busy “destabilising the Congress government, the Prime Minister may have missed the 35% crash in global oil prices.”
The Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh has 114 Congress MLAs, four Independents, two BSP and one SP MLA. If the resignations of the 22 MLAs are accepted, the strength of the Assembly will fall to 206. The Congress, on its own, will then be left with 92 seats while the BJP has 107 seats with the majority mark being 104.
Meanwhile, Nath remains confident that his government will survive. “There is nothing to worry about. We will prove our majority,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV on Tuesday night.
Congress has shifted its 92 MLAs to Jaipur. According to ANI, the MLAs have reached Jaipur. “We are going to take our 92 MLAs and those supporting our Madhya Pradesh government to a hotel,” a senior Congress leader told PTI.
BJP has, meanwhile, shifted its MLAs to a hotel in Gurugram, according to reports.
Congress leaders slam Scindia
Several party leaders hit out at Scindia for resigning from the Congress. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused him of betraying the trust of people and ideology. He tweeted:
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told PTI that ideology did not matter to Scindia. He said that “political convenience” and “personal ambition” played a major part in his decision to resign from the party.
He also alleged that some sort of “allurement and enticement” offered by the BJP had convinced Scindia to switch over.
(With PTI inputs)