The high-octane political drama in Madhya Pradesh, which started soon after the Congress bigwig Jyotiraditya Scindia ditched the party only to join their arch-rivals, the Bhartiya Janta Party, is intensifying with every passing day.
After a ruckus was created at Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport, amid suspense over the arrival of rebel Congress MLAs of the Scindia faction from Bengaluru, there have been reports that the Congress workers waved black flags at former party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia while he was on his way back to the city airport on March 13 (Friday).
According to reports, the incident occurred near Kamla Park in the city in the evening. Scindia was going to the airport after a meeting with BJP national vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the latter’s residence in Bhopal when Congress workers reportedly intercepted his motorcade, showed black flags to Scindia, blackened a vehicle which was part of his motorcade and also allegedly pelted stones at the convoy.
Confirming this unruly behaviour of Congress workers, party secretary Abdul Nafees said: “The party workers showed black flags to Mr Scindia as he has deceived the party. Besides waving black flags at him, they also blackened a vehicle which was part of his motorcade.”
According to the police, Congress workers tried to stop Scindia’s motorcade near Kamla Park. However, the police personnel whisked the protesters away, quickly clearing the way for the newly-joined BJP leader’s cavalcade.
The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan has condemned the incident terming it a ‘life-threatening attack’ and demanded action against the perpetrators. He said that the law and order in the state has collapsed.
Former Madhya Pradesh CM & BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on black flags shown to party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia in Bhopal: Law & order have collapsed in the State. There was an attempt to attack him by stopping his car and throwing stones at it. pic.twitter.com/otpnkSiW2b— ANI (@ANI) March 13, 2020
“Attempts were made to attack Scindia. Stones pelted at his car. With great difficulty, the driver managed to take the car carrying away from the spot,” Chouhan said.
“You can simply imagine the kind of situation prevailing in the state. A government which has lost majority is engineering attacks. I strongly condemn this incident and appeal to police and administration to take swift action against those responsible for this attack on Scindia,” Chouhan said in a statement.
Yesterday, section 144 was also imposed at Bhopal airport as the Madhya Pradesh legislators who extended their loyalty to former Congress bigwig Jyotiraditya Scindia are being flown in to meet the MP speaker. The lawmakers had resigned from their party along with Jyotiraditya Scindia and were camped in Bengaluru after submitting their resignation.
The high-voltage political crisis in Madhya Pradesh deepened after 22 of the Congress MLAs, along with Jyotiraditya Scindia tendered their resignation on Tuesday. The following day, Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the saffron party in presence of the party president JP Nadda. Scindia also met with PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah before joining the BJP ranks.
The rebel MLAs had to travel back from Bengaluru to Bhopal after the Madhya Pradesh speaker issued a notice, asking them to appear before him by Friday and clarify whether they have quit voluntarily or under duress.
The acceptance of the resignation by the speaker holds profound significance on the continuity of Kamal Nath led government in Madhya Pradesh. If the speaker accepts the resignation of the rebel MLAs, the strength of the assembly will reduce to 206, with the Congress having 92 seats, and the BJP, having 107 seats. In this situation, BJP can easily cross the halfway mark of 104 for a majority, thus forcing the collapse of Kamal Nath-led government in the state.