“We came for maharaj (Jyotiraditya Scindia)… not to join the BJP,” the MLAs have reportedly said.
Trouble deepened for 15-month-old Kamal Nath government on Monday when 19 Congress MLAs, including six ministers, loyal to the Jyotiraditya Scindia were flown by a chartered plane to Bengaluru in BJP-ruled Karnataka. The BJP is closely monitoring reports of these leaders expressing reservation in joining the party, according to sources.
Jyotiraditya Scindia ended his 18-year-old long association with the Congress on Tuesday after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“I am tendering my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress and as you well know, this is a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year,” he said in his resignation letter sent to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, hinting at dissatisfaction with his role and responsibility in the party.
Minutes later, the Congress tweeted that Mr Scindia has been expelled from the party for “anti-party activities”.
Mr Scindia’s exit from the party was followed by resignation of 21 Congress MLAs.
He is likely to join the BJP – co-founded by his grandmother Vijay Raje Scindia – today in Delhi. His crossover is likely to be rewarded with a Rajya Sabha nomination and eventually, a spot in the central cabinet.
Congress’s troubleshooter in Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, told NDTV on Tuesday that he is in touch with the rebel MLAs from Madhya Pradesh who are in Bengaluru, and that most of them will return to the party. “19 MLAs are under ‘police custody’ in Karnataka,” he told NDTV.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath has said he is confident his government will complete its term. “There is nothing to worry about. We will prove our majority,” he said late on Tuesday night.