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Jyotiraditya Scindia Resigns From Congress, Likely To Join BJP; MP Government In Deep Crisis

While Scindia wrote a resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the party expelled him for anti-party activities.

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In a blow to the Congress, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was a prominent and promising young face of the organisation, resigned from the party and is likely to join the BJP.

Scindia's decision to leave Congress was followed by resignations of 22 party MLAs loyal to him, bringing the Kamal Nath government on the brink of a collapse. The legislators who have resigned include six ministers. Before his resignation, Scindia met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in presence of Home Minister Amit Shah.

While Scindia wrote a resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the party expelled him for anti-party activities.

The young leader said in his letter that it was time "to move on".

"Having been a primary member of the Congress Party for the last 18 years. it is now time for me to move on. 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.
Scindia was seen to be close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and was picked by him to revive the party's fortunes in Uttar Pradesh. He was given charge of western Uttar Pradesh while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was given charge of eastern parts of the state.
Scindia had played an important role in the Congress edging past BJP in the last assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh in 2018 and forming the government in the state after 15 years. He is a former union minister and son of veteran Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia.

After the assembly polls, the Congress appointed Kamal Nath as chief minister even though Scindia's supporters wanted him to don the mantle. Scindia was apparently keen to become the state Congress chief but was not given the post. He had been signalling his unhappiness for some time.

The immediate fallout of Scinida's resignation for Congress is the deep crisis its government now faces in Madhya Pradesh.

Kamal Nath had a meeting with party leaders including Digvijaya Singh, Jitu Patwari, Bala Bachchan, Sajjan Singh Verma, Surendra Singh Baghel at his residence on Tuesday as Scindia resigned.

Party leader Kantilal Bhuria said after the meeting that they have the required number of MLAs for a majority.

"The state government is strong and it will continue in office. The government is not going to fall because someone is saying so. We have the required number of MLAs," he told reporters in Bhopal.

However, another party leader, Laxman Singh said that the Kamal Nath government will not survive in Madhya Pradesh and the party should be prepared to sit in the opposition.

"I will meet Chief Minister Kamal Nath to discuss the future strategy," Laxman, brother of former chief minister Digvijaya Singh said.

In the middle of the crisis, 20 cabinet ministers in Madhya Pradesh had tendered their resignations to Kamal Nath late on Monday night to enable him to reconstitute his cabinet.

Jyotiraditya Scindia's aunt Yashodhara Raje Scindia welcomed his decision to quit Congress and called it "ghar wapasi" (homecoming).

She said the "bold move" has been taken in the national interest.

"I am very happy and congratulate him. This is 'ghar vapasi'. Madhavrao Scindia had started his political career with Jan Sangh. Jyotiraditya was being neglected in Congress," she said.

Digvijaya Singh accused the BJP of planning a conspiracy to reverse the mandate of people in the state as Kamal Nath had acted against mafias.

Former external affairs minister Natwar Singh on Tuesday said that Congress' decision to expel Jyotiraditya Scindia from the party was a futile gesture.

"It is probably certain that Jyotiraditya Scindia will join BJP. I am not surprised at this development as there were indications to this effect. There is no nepotism in BJP. In Congress, it is going on for years. It is a futile gesture to expel of Jyotiraditya Scindia from Congress," Singh told ANI.

"The party has suffered a loss as Jyotiraditya had a huge following. Many MLAs in Madhya Pradesh are with him. On March 26, he will be elected to the Rajya Sabha in my opinion and then he will become a minister," he added.

In 2018 assembly elections, Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member Assembly and formed the government with the support of four Independent MLAs and two BSP MLAs and a legislator from the Samajwadi Party (SP). The BJP had secured 109 seats in the state assembly.

Last week, Madhya Pradesh Labour Minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia had warned that the state government will face a crisis if it "ignores or disrespects" Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Scindia had said last month that he will not hesitate to hit the roads if promises made in a manifesto by Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh were not fulfilled.

Kamal Nath had responded to the remarks saying, "To utar jayein" (Let him hit the streets if he wants to). (ANI)

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