The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh was pulled down by the BJP’s central leaders — an audio clip where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is purportedly heard making this claim, is being widely circulated in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP has so far vehemently denied Congress allegations of complicity in the collapse of the Madhya Pradesh government, which took place in March. Mr Chouhan — the three-time BJP Chief Minster who lost his job after the Congress victory in the assembly elections — has been among the loudest in his denials.
Now, for the first time, the Chief Minister is purportedly heard saying, “It was the central leadership which had decided that government will be dislodged, else it would ruin everything”.
“Tell me, was it possible to dislodge the government without Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tulsi Silawat? There was no other way.” he is heard saying during the address to party workers at Indore’s Sanwer assembly segment, where he visited yesterday.
NDTV cannot vouch for the authenticity of the audio clip.
The Tulsi referred to in the audio clip is the Tulsi Silawat, a Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist and former Congress minister, who joined BJP along with him.
It was changing of camp by Mr Scindia — whose father Madhavrao Scindia was close to Indira and Rajiv Gandhi — that brought the government of Kamal Nath tumbling down.
Along with Mr Scindia, 22 of his loyalists walked out and joined the BJP, leaving the Congress — which had a wafer thin majority in assembly to start with — woefully short.
Ten days later, on March 20, just before a floor test in the assembly, Kamal Nath stepped down bringing an end to the 15-month-old Congress government in the state.
Responding to Mr Chouhan’s comment, Congress leader Narendra Saluja said: “Shivraj Singh Chouhan has himself spoken the truth, that the BJP was instrumental in pulling the Kamal Nath government with the help of Jyotiraditya Scindia and loyalists. Chouhan’s statement in Indore has also unraveled another truth that it was BJP’s central leadership which had decided to dislodge the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh”.
The Election Commission is yet to announce the dates of the by-elections in the state, which are expected around September.
The 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly currently has 206 members, of which 107 are from the BJP. The Congress has 92 members. Four independents, one Samajwadi Party and three BSP MLAs are supporting the BJP government. The present majority mark is 104.