Bengaluru, March 21 (IANS) About 20 former rebel Congress MLAs of Madhya Pradesh would be leaving for Bhopal on Saturday by a chartered aircraft after a 12-day stay at the resorts in the city’s northern outskirts, a source said.
“Our former rebels have decided to leave for Bhopal today (Saturday) as they are no longer required to stay after Kamal Nath resigned and his government fell on Friday,” a party source told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Though all the former rebels were to leave Bengaluru on Friday evening hours after Nath resigned in Bhopal post-noon, they differed the departure to Saturday as they were waiting for a communique from their ‘leader’ (Jyotiraditya Scindia).
The 49-year-old scion of Gwalior, joined the BJP on March 11 after resigning from the Congress on March 10 in New Delhi, owing to serious differences with Nath and senior party leader Digvijaya Singh on governance and party issues.
“One of the ex-rebels (Suresh Dhankar) left for Bhopal on Friday following a death in his family. The rest of them remained at the resort to fly back to Bhopal all together on Saturday,” the source recalled.
The 16 former rebels expressed relief after Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapathi accepted their resignations also on Thursday night, paving way for the downfall of the 15-month-old Congress government in the central Indian state.
The speaker accepted the resignations of 6 of them on March 14 a day after Governor Lalji Tandon sacked them from the cabinet on the recommendation of Nath on March 10.
The former rebels, however, remained incommunicado with the media even after Nath resigned, ostensibly under advice by their leader as the political situation in their state is fluid and they are yet to decide on their future course of action.
“The ex-rebels have also been advised to return to Bhopal by Saturday evening as the ‘janata curfew’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Thursday night will come into force on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.,” the source hinted.
The former rebels also refused to meet Digvijaya Singh at the resort on Wednesday and sought protection from the state police for their security. Singh tried to meet the former rebels as a party candidate for the March 26 Rajya Sabha bypolls from their state for his re-election to the Upper House for another term.
The state director-general of police also declined to allow Singh to meet the former rebels as they told him in writing that they were not interested to meet him.