Scindia’s exit: ‘Hurt’ Kamal Nath hints at missed signals, betrayal

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister hints Jyotiraditya Scindia gave him no signs of leaving before going incommunicado

While sources close to Scindia have said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi refused to meet him for months, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has hinted that Scindia should have communicated with him before resigning. Photo: PTI

The political crisis in Madhya Pradesh looks to be a story of missed signals and treachery. If Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit from the Congress has been ascribed to his disgruntlement with the Congress leadership over his ‘sidelining,’ Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, is the latest to feel betrayed – by Scindia.

In an interview to Indian Express on Wednesday (March 11), the day Scindia joined the BJP, Kamal Nath said the former ironically had been in ‘constant touch’ with him in the weeks before his resignation. Kamal Nath said he had discussed with Scindia how the BJP was trying to poach Congress MLAs, before the latter suddenly went incommunicado.

“I had met Jyotiraditya in Delhi about 10 days ago and we also talked about the constant attempts of the ruling party to topple the government in Bhopal. I had been briefing him about this. Until this Saturday (March 7) I was speaking to him on the telephone and then I learnt that he had high fever and he simply went off the line,” Kamal Nath told Indian Express.

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Scindia’s quitting has largely been attributed to his disgruntlement with the Congress leadership. Sources close to him have said that he was upset at being denied the post of chief minister when the Congress won the Assembly elections in 2018 and subsequently overlooked when the state Congress chief was elected.

After Scindia’s resignation on Tuesday (March 10), his cousin and former Congress leader Pradyot Manikya Debbarma in a Facebook post said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had refused to meet him for months.

Recounting his telephonic conversation with Scindia on Monday night (March 9), Debbarma said Scindia told him that he “waited and waited but there was no forthcoming appointments give to him by ‘our’ leader.”

Debbarma’s account of Scindia’s disappointment reflected in his resignation letter, where he clearly mentioned “…it is now time for me to move on” and “this path has been drawing itself out over the last year.”

Related read: After 18 years, it is time to move on: Scindia’s sombre letter amid high drama

Scindia joined the BJP on Wednesday after submitting his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi the day before. Soon after his resignation, 22 MLAs loyal to him resigned from their posts.

While the BJP has held the infighting in Congress responsible for the event, Kamal Nath has stressed that the flock is together, exuding confidence of showing the right numbers in an event of a floor test.

“I am confident that the Congress will win the floor test in the Assembly after it convenes as scheduled on March 15. You will see that we will be able to prove our majority in the Assembly,” he told The Indian Express.

While Congress claims that its leader DK Shivakumar is in touch with the rebel MLAs most of whom are ready to return, Kamal Nath says were forced to resign and are being held captive now.

“Yes, we are in touch with them. Everyone is talking to everyone is all I can say at this stage. The point that the media is missing is that if the Congress MLAs had given their resignations of their own free will, why are they not in Bhopal? Why have they not been allowed to come to Bhopal and submit their resignations in person? They should be here if they have not been held captive.”

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According to reports, the BJP has put up its MLAs to a resort in Gurugram, while the Congress has sent its legislators to Rajasthan’s Jaipur, where it is in power. Scindia’s loyalist MLAs have been sent to Bengaluru.