Bhopal: Amidst Karnataka’s political crisis, the Congress in Madhya Pradesh is keeping a close eye on its legislatures. According to sources, senior party leaders are holding meetings with the party’s MLAs, advising them to earn public trust and to not breach it.
On Sunday, ahead of the beginning of the monsoon session, Chief Minister Kamal Nath and former CM Digviajay Singh took Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) MLAs, urging them to be united.
According to sources, in the CLP meeting, CM Kamal Nath gave each minister the responsibility of three MLAs, to supervise and keep a watch over three legislators of the party and it’s allies.
Later, the leader of opposition in the Upper House of the parliament and veteran Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad- who was in Bhopal to take part in MLAs orientation programme, advised elected legislatures to not breach the trust of voters who elected them as a representative of the people on their party’s symbol.
Referring to the political situation in Karnataka, Azad told the Congress legislatures, “I had said this in the presence of Prime Minister Narendara Modi in the parliament. You (BJP) toppled our government in Manipur. You are taking away our MLAs in Gujarat, in Andhra Pradesh, in Bengal and of course Karnataka. Where is the trust and what about democracy? There can be no democracy without trust. An MLA is elected on a party symbol as representative of that party and if he changes side, that’s a breach of trust.”
Earlier, while addressing the MLAs in orientation programme, Azad urged the MLAs to conduct themselves in a way befitting to gain and retain the trust and respect of voters.
In a 230-seated assembly, Madhya Pradesh has 90 first time legislatures this time around.
Also Read: https://www.newsclick.in/People-Demands-Amid-Political-Turmoil-Karnataka
In Karnataka, where the Congress government- formed in alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular)(JDS), is going through a tumultuous time as 13 of it’s MLAs submitted their resignation to the speaker. It did not end there, the following day, all cabinet ministers resigned from their posts and some independent legislatures too, joined the rebel group. At present, it would be safe to say that Karnataka is in political turmoil.
Referring to the deepening political crisis for the Congress-JDS alliance in Karnataka, leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava on Monday said that Kamal Nath government 'was in danger zone since Day 1'. “Congress keeping close eyes on legislatures because they don’t trust them. If not, then why CM Nath has ordered ministers to keep close eye on MLAs. BJP had never given any such a task to its ministers during its 15-year rule.”
“But, no matter how much lure and enticement is offered, it cannot carry on for long and Madhya Pradesh is next in queue after Karnataka," Bhargava added.
Refuting Bhargava’s claim, State Congress spokesman and the CM’s media convener, Narendra Saluja, said, “the BJP maybe successful in horse-trading in Karnataka. But it won't succeed in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP has no issues and has been repeatedly making false claims. The chief minister has said we are ready for floor test any time.”
Currently, the Congress in Madhya Pradesh has 115 MLAs including an independent MLA Pradeep Jaiswal, who joined the party after getting ministerial berth in the state cabinet. It means, the grand old party is only one short of an absolute majority in the House.
After the resignation of the Jhabua BJP MLA, who won Jhabua parliamentary election in recently concluded general election, the 230-seated assembly reduced into 229. With 115 legislatures in it’s kitty, the Congress is in majority in the state until Jhabua by-election takes place.
CONGRESS CAN TOUCH MAJORITY MARK IF IT WINS JHABUA BY-ELECTION
Jhabua by-election is crucial for the Congress, not only to overcome the highly demoralising impact of its Lok Sabha rout, but also to increase its numbers by one in a delicately-balanced state assembly.
The Election Commission (EC) has not announced the Jhabua by-poll yet, but fight for getting tickets between two senior Congress leaders in Jhabua- Kantilal Bhuria and Xavier Medha camps, has begun. Going by the results of past three assembly elections, Congress is aware that it could win the tribal dominated Jhabua seat, only if Bhuria and Medha camps come together or at least don’t indulge in sabotage.
Both Bhuria and Xavier Medha have staked their claims for the ticket and now, it is for the party leadership to persuade one of them to withdraw, because if both continue to demand tickets and indulge in sabotage upon denial of ticket, chances of the Congress winning its traditional seat will diminish- as was the case in 2013 and 2018.