Madhya Pradesh Congress media chief Shobha Oza on Wednesday claimed that six out of 10 MLAs allegedly held hostage at a hotel in Gurugram, Haryana, were “rescued” around midnight, The Hindu reported. This came a day after the Congress claimed that its lawmakers were being forcefully kept at the hotel, and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of being involved.
The party managed to bring back four MLAs of the Congress and one each of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. Oza claimed that by then, four other MLAs – three of the Congress and an Independent MLA – had already been taken to Bengaluru.
Oza claimed that senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh along with Madhya Pradesh’s Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari and Urban Development Minister Jaivardhan Singh had reached the hotel in Gurugram’s Manesar town to meet the MLAs but were not allowed entry. However, they reportedly managed to rescue the MLAs. Videos of the episode purportedly showed police in civilian clothes preventing BSP MLA Rambai from exiting the hotel.
“The good work done by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has support even among the BJP MLAs,” she said. “But the war waged by our government against the education and mining mafia in the state has made the BJP nervous and they now want to topple the government fearing action against their leaders.”
Congress leader Jitu Patwari claimed that BJP had offered Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore to his party’s MLAs, and added that they found the lawmakers had been assaulted, reported ANI. “When we went to the hotel, MLAs were beaten up,” he said. “Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the mastermind of this conspiracy. Several videos and audios are viral now which reveal his role in everything that is happening.” He said that all the MLAs contacted by the BJP will divulge details soon, adding there was no threat to the state government.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said his party has a complete majority in the Assembly and accused the BJP of orchestrating the alleged hostage situation. “BJP with the help of mafias has been unsuccessfully trying to destabilise the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh,” he told ANI. “We have a full majority in the Assembly, which we have proved during the passage of budget and election of speaker and deputy speaker.”
Former Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however, claimed this was an “internal” Congress matter. “Congress MLAs themselves are worried,” he said, according to NDTV. “This is their internal matter. And they accuse us. What is this?... Their job is to make accusations. The Congress is fighting internally and then accuse us.”
Meanwhile, the state’s BJP leader Narottam Mishra told ANI that “MLAs do keep in touch with” him, adding: “Congress MLAs are not able to get their work done, it increases discontentment as they are answerable to the people. 15-20 MLAs are in our contact.”
In the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs, the BJP has 107. Out of the rest of the seats, the BSP has two, the Samajwadi Party has one. The remaining are four Independent MLAs.
On Wednesday, the Congress called an urgent meeting of its MPs to discuss the political situation in Madhya Pradesh, apart from other matters, ANI reported. The meeting will be headed by Rahul Gandhi.