BJP cuts a sorry figure over coup attempt

BJP’s attempts to embarrass the Congress with a floor test in Madhya Pradesh have all but fizzled out. The party’s central leadership hasn’t backed the local leaders on the issue

BJP cuts a sorry figure over coup attempt

Chandrakant Naidu

BJP’s attempts to embarrass the Congress with a floor test in Madhya Pradesh have all but fizzled out.

The party’s central leadership hasn’t backed the local leaders on the issue. The BJP leadership painted itself into a corner by overlooking procedural issues.

On Monday the leader of the Opposition, Gopal Bhargav wrote a letter to Governor Anandiben Patel requesting her to convene a special session of the state assembly. Bhargava, a veteran of the House since 1984 obviously acted in haste by shooting off a letter to the Governor. The procedure for convening the sessions, special or ordinary, is clear. The government seeks the governor’s permission to convene the session by a communication sent through the Vidhan Sabha secretariat.

Insiders say, Bhargav has been admonished by the party’s central leadership for going to the media over the issue. Action followed former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s report to the central leaders. Chouhan had also spoken to some television channels over the issue. "We want to discuss issues of critical importance in the special session and we would also see whether this government can sustain itself through the division of votes on financial matters," Bhargav had told newsmen on Monday.

Charges and counter charges flew thick and fast over the BJP’s attempt to pull down the Kamal Nath government.

On Tuesday, Kamal Nath claimed that the BJP was trying to allure the ruling party legislators. Addressing the media, he said all MLAs were in touch with him and he had full faith in them. “We have already faced the floor test and are ready for it again. Exit polls have become a source of entertainment now. The BJP is trying to sustain the party members’ morale with such tactics,” he said.

It wasn’t just the leader of the Opposition who displayed undue haste. The party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had also claimed that the government would not last once Modi returned to power.

State cabinet minister Pradyumn Singh Tomar had, on Tuesday alleged that the BJP was alluring Congress MLAs by offering up to ₹50 crore. The minister, however, said none of the MLAs fell for the trap.

Singh said BJP was worried many former senior leaders might be brought to book in the infamous Vyapam scam and the other frauds and therefore disparate to bring down the Congress government. Public relations minister P C Sharma went a step further to claim more than 20 BJP MLAs were in touch with the Congress party and could switch over if BJP fails to return to power at the Centre. State BJP chief Rakesh Singh had also claimed on Monday had claimed that the Congress ministry would come down on its own due to internal discord. Congress won 114 of the state's 230 seats in the state assembly nearly six months ago where the majority mark is 116. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party then offered unconditional support to the government. The BSP has two seats in the House and the SP one. The BJP has 109 seats. Four Independents are also backing the government. After the Chhindwara MLA Deepak Saksena resigned to vacate the seat for Kamal Nath the Congress’s strength is 113.

Even the betting market or satta bazaar in Falodi in Rajasthan saw punters wagering on the issue. Big ticket gambling is going on in Falodi market over the tenure of Kamal Nath. Interestingly, the Indore betting which is equally important, has been quiet. The market has been sluggish after several arrests in Bhopal two months ago during the IPL cricket tournament.

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