New Delhi/Bhopal, March 5 (IANS) Midnight resort politics, Congress leaders crying “money power”, chartered flights vrooming — they all are essential ingredients of the great political ‘tamasha’ that India has become accustomed to.
Two ministers in the Madhya Pradesh government – Jitu Patwari and Jaivardhan Singh – scrambled to undo the ‘damage’ at the ITC Resort in Manesar near Gurugram on Tuesday night. By the next sunrise, Chief Minister Kamal Nath seems to have outsmarted the opposition, once again.
Six out of the 10 Madhya Pradesh MLAs who were allegedly held hostage at Gurugram overnight, were brought back on Wednesday and taken straight to the residence of the Chief Minister.
Ten MLAs from Madhya Pradesh were brought to the national capital by the BJP. BJP’s Narottam Mishra is alleged to have been in “close contact” with them.
As of Thursday, four MLAs continue to remain “untamed”.
While the imminent threat, if any, to the Madhya Pradesh government seems to have been thwarted by Nath, there are two concerns, often less talked about, that continue to trouble the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister.
1. Rajya Sabha election:
Regardless of theories, it’s not the impending Rajya Sabha election scheduled on March 25, which is weighing on Kamal Nath’s mind. The three Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in Madhya Pradesh are presently held by Digvijaya Singh (Congress), Satyanarayan Jatiya and Prabhat Jha (both from BJP).
Digvijaya Singh is likely to be renominated after losing to BJP’s Pragya Thakur. But given the massive ego tussle between Kamal Nath and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress may also nominate him. That would mean BJP losing one of its Rajya Sabha seats to the Congress. Scindia too lost from Guna in the Lok Sabha election.
If the Manesar episode is anything to go by, it brought the complex intra-party equation in the Congress out in the open which may threaten its ambition of snatching an extra Rajya Sabha seat from the BJP this time.
In the 230-member Assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs and the BJP 107. If there is no whip issued, the chance of cross voting by ‘unhappy’ Congress members cannot be discounted.
2. Stormy Budget session:
Not just the Rajya Sabha polls but the current upheaval may also adversely impact the upcoming Budget session in the state Assembly, where important bills are lined up.
The session which starts from March 16, is expected to be turbulent. Voting on an Appropriation Bill regarding the Budget may come up. Finance Minister Taran Bhanot will present the Budget on March 18. It will be of worth around Rs 2,30,000 crore.
The government will pass the first Budget before March 28 so that budgetary allocations can be provided to all departments with the approval of Governor Lalji Tandon, before April 1. Uproar is expected over farmer loan waiver, regularisation of staff, guest scholars and dearness allowance.
If some of the Congress MLAs and allies join the opposition in creating a ruckus in the house, it may spell trouble for the Congress government.
As of now, out of the four MLAs who are still missing, three are from the Congress. If they join the ruckus on Budget day, it will surely be embarrassing for the Kamal Nath government.
Meanwhile the BJP has rubbished allegations of horse trading, calling it an “internal matter” of the Congress. With just four missing MLAs, the BJP can’t think of bringing a no-confidence motion and win it. But it can certainly make the going tougher for the Kamal Nath government when it comes to its aspiration of snatching another Rajya Sabha seat from the state and pumping in money in government departments.