BHOPAL: Just a few hours before the inaugural session of the new Vidhan Sabha in Madhya Pradesh, one of the two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs in the state made a sensational disclosure in Bhopal on Sunday night.
Rambai Parihar, the first-time BSP MLA from Pathariya seat of Damoh district of Bundelkhand region alleged that some BJP leaders from Bhopal and Bundelkhand were regularly contacting her husband for convincing her to withdraw the support from the newly installed Kamal Nath government in the state.
Parihar along with the other BSP MLA Sanju Kushwah (Bhind seat) and SP MLA from Bijawar seat Rajesh Kumar alias Bablu Shukla attended the dinner at CM Kamal Nath’s residence after the meeting of Congress legislature party in the evening, just a few hours before the inaugural session of new Vidhan Sabha starts on Monday.
“Right since the assembly poll results were declared on December 11-12, BJP leaders from Bhopal as well as Bundelkhand have been contacting my husband and making all kinds of big offers to convince me to back out from supporting the new government in MP. But both me and my husband have been overlooking those offers as we’re committed to Behenji’s (BSP chief Mayawati) commitment to supporting the Congress government in the state,” Parihar told journalists after the meeting and dinner at the CM’s residence.
She, however, didn’t disclose the names of the BJP leaders from Bhopal and Bundelkhand, who have been contacting her better half to pull down the Congress government.
Sources close to the BSP MLA disclosed to the New Indian Express that she has taken up with senior Congress leaders present at the dinner, the issue of making BSP MLA from Bhind seat Sanju Kushwah (who was formerly in BJP) a cabinet minister and herself a minister of state, whenever cabinet expansion takes place. The Congress leaders, including CM Kamal Nath have responded positively to her concerns, sources added.
Importantly, neither Congress nor the BJP have simple majority of 116 in the 230-member Vidhan Sabha. While the Congress is the single largest party with 114 legislators, the BJP is close second with 109 MLAs. It’s the support of two BSP MLAs, one SP MLA and four independent MLAs (all rebels) which is crucial for survival of the Kamal Nath government, as the collective numbers of Congress-plus supporting MLAs is 121, that is five more than simple majority mark.
Significantly, Congress leaders, including ex-CM Digvijaya Singh and newly elected cabinet minister Jeetu Patwari too have alleged recently that BJP leaders (ex-ministers) in the state are indulging in horse trading to pull down the new government.
Singh has even alleged that ex-home minister Bhupendra Singh (a powerful leader of Bundelkhand region) and former parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra are trying to pull down the Congress government by making offers to legislators (both in Congress and allies).
Meanwhile, 120 out of 121 MLAs supporting the Congress government attended the dinner at CM’s residence in Bhopal on Sunday evening. The only MLA who didn’t attend the Congress legislature party meeting and dinner was Congress veteran and ex-MP minister KP Singh (six-time sitting MLA from Pichhore seat) who is believed to be dejected on not being included in the council of ministers.
Reacting to the BSP MLA Rambai Parihar’s claims, the state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said “if the newly elected legislator is speaking the truth, why isn’t she naming the politicians who are in contact with her husband. These all sensational claims and allegations are nothing but pressure tactics by individual MLAs to get ministerial berths as a cabinet expansion is said to be in the offing.”