Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit President Kamal Nath on Monday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party was indulging in a “game of bargaining” and was luring his legislators as the saffron party has anticipated that it will lose in the upcoming bye-polls, reported PTI. Bye-elections to 28 Assembly seats in the state are to be held on November 3.

On Sunday, Damoh MLA Rahul Singh, who was with the Congress, joined the BJP after resigning from the Assembly. The pro-tem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma said that Singh’s resignation has been accepted.

“Now they are left with only this option,” Nath said on Monday. “I am getting calls from many Congress MLAs. They are telling that the BJP is luring them and offering money.” Nath told reporters that he has written to the Election Commission.

The former chief minister said that election was a celebration of democracy, adding that this has become a celebration of politics. “I don’t believe in such politics,” he said. Nath further alleged that the BJP was pressuring lower-level government employees to work in their favour.

He asserted that the electorate of the state was very simple and straightforward but aware politically.

The BJP, however, dismissed the allegations. Rajneesh Agrawal, the Madhya Pradesh BJP spokesperson, claimed that the state Congress chief was not able to manage his party. “So many Congress legislators and leaders have left the party under Nath’s leadership,” Agrawal said. “This puts a question mark on Nath’s leadership.”

The spokesperson further said that Nath was not even listening to the advice of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who had condemned his controversial remarks against a woman BJP leader.

Since March, 26 Congress MLAs have resigned and joined the BJP. With Singh’s resignation, Congress’ strength in the 230-member Assembly has now come down to 87.

In March, Jyotiraditya Scindia had quit the Congress and joined the BJP. Following his resignation, at least 22 MLAs, including six state ministers, resigned from the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. Nath had then quit the chief minister’s post ahead of a floor test in the state’s Assembly. Addressing a press conference, he had accused the BJP of being unable to tolerate his administration’s achievements, and accused the party of betraying the “public mandate”.