Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi played an important role in the fall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in March, NDTV reported. The claim, however, appeared to be made in jest as the crowd listening appeared to be laughing while Vijayvargiya made the statement.

“I haven’t told this to anyone till now,” Vijayvargiya said at a rally in Indore. “I am making it public for the first time from this stage. If anyone played an important role in pulling down the Kamal Nath government, it was Narendra Modi and not [Union minister] Dharmendra Pradhan.” Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra and Pradhan were present at the rally.

The comments pertain to the collapse of the Nath government in March after former MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, along with 22 others, quit the Congress and joined the BJP.

The Congress too has made similar claims that the BJP was behind the fall of governments in various states, including Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. On Wednesday, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Narendra Saluja said that Vijayvargiya’s statement was the proof for party’s claims. “Country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulls down the constitutionally elected government of the Congress in an unconstitutional manner,” tweeted Saluja. “BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has himself revealed this.”

In another tweet, he said: “The Congress has been saying it right since day one, but the BJP has been blaming the Congress’s internal tussle for the fall [of the Kamal Nath government].”

In June, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had purportedly said that the BJP’s central leadership had decided the fall of the Congress government in the state. He could be heard making the claim during his address to party workers in an audio clip. has not been able to verify the authenticity of the audio clip.

After the fall of the Congress government, Chouhan had taken oath as the chief minister on March 23. The next day, he won a trust vote in the Assembly, from which all Congress MLAs absented themselves. MLAs from the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and Independent leaders voted in favour of the motion. Scindia had joined the saffron party on March 11 and was named the party’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh.