Surendra Singh Shera, one of the four MLAs supporting the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh who went missing, returned on Saturday (March 7) and stated that he continues to be on the Congress side.
The independent MLA from Burhanpur, who returned by an afternoon flight from Delhi, also denied that he had been abducted. The Congress had alleged that the opposition BJP was trying to poach its MLAs to bring down the state government.
Three Congress MLAs — Hardeep Singh Dang, Bisahulal Singh, and Raghuraj Kansana — are reportedly still untraceable.
Minister for Public Relations P C Sharma greeted Shera at Raja Bhoj Airport on his arrival, from where he was taken to the residence of Chief Minister Nath. Talking to reporters, Shera denied that he had been abducted by anyone.
“I was not abducted. Nobody can abduct a lion. But efforts were made to delay my flight from Bengaluru… I was misbehaved with and stopped on the way to the airport in Bengaluru. Therefore I missed my flight,” he claimed without elaborating further.
The MLA — a former Congressman who rebelled when he was denied ticket — reiterated his support to the government, saying, “I have been with Kamal Nath for the past 25-years.” When asked if he will be inducted in the state cabinet, he said, “Surely.”
Shera also denied that he was in Bengaluru with the missing Congress legislators. Earlier, in a video released on Friday (March 6) night, Shera had said he was visiting BJP-ruled Karnataka’s capital for his daughter’s treatment.
After Shera’s meeting with the chief minister, Sharma said the MLA raised certain issues. “Shera was repeatedly stopped in Bengaluru and Delhi. He is like family to the Congress. He put forward his points before the CM and these issues would be followed up,” the minister told reporters.
Another Congress minister, Tarun Bhanot, who accompanied the MLA, said “Shera’s feelings” will be taken care of at an appropriate time.
Shera and the other MLAs who went missing were reportedly disgruntled over not finding a berth in the cabinet.
Asked about missing Congress MLAs Dang, Bisahulal Singh and Kansana, Sharma said they too will return soon.
A resignation letter purportedly written by Dang had gone viral on social media but the MLA could not be contacted for verification.
Earlier this week, the Congress claimed that the BJP had “abducted” 14 MLAs to bring down the government in Madhya Pradesh, an allegation which the opposition party denied.
The Congress holds a thin majority in the 230-member Assembly with its own 114 MLAs and support of two BSP, one SP and four independents. The BJP has 107 legislators while two seats are vacant.