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‘Op Sanjay Pathak’ by Digvijaya in Madhya Pradesh

New Delhi/Bhopal, March 6 (IANS) Amid charges of political bargaining and poaching of MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, where Rajya Sabha polls for three seats are due on March 26, Congress sources said on Friday that Sanjay pathak, a BJP MLA, is likely to join the Congress. Sources said his joining the Congress has been cleared at the highest level and that his earlier attempts to join the party were scuttled by some state party leaders.

Sanjay Pathak’s father Satyendra Pathak was the district Congress president in Jabalpur and was a minister in the Digvijaya Singh government in the state.

Party sources said the “operation” targeted at the BJP has been jointly engineered by Digvijaya and Chief Minister Kamal Nath as both are camping in the state capital Bhopal and eyeing the disgruntled BJP legislators.

“Sanjay Pathak is a son of my friend Satyendra Pathak. Sanjay got misguided after he joined BJP,” said Digvijay Singh.

“This is a tit-for-tat formula engineered by Digvijaya and Kamal nath to counter BJP’s move to destabilise the state government,” said a senior leader.

Digvijaya on Friday rejected reports that party MLA Hardeep Singh Dang has resigned, saying the Chief Minister would talk to him. He said the MLAs who are “untraceable” will return to the party fold. “Where else will go,” said Digvijaya Singh.

The Congress has managed to poach on three BJP MLAs and is said to be in touch with 7 more, said a party leader.

The BJP has rejected such reports attributing “minor problems” to the Rajya Sabha polls.

Two days back Digvijaya Singh had charged that a huge sum of money was being offered to the Congress MLAs.

Late yesterday night, Chief Minister Kamal Nath met three BJP MLAs — Sharad Kaul, Sanjay Pathak and Narayan Tripathi. Following this meeting, Narayan Tripathi, an MLA from Maihar, is said to have resigned from his Assembly membership. Tripathi, however, has so far denied resigning as an MLA. He is likely to join the ruling Congress.

Post-poaching, the Congress will effectively be in no danger. “This may send out a message to other party rebel MLAs trying to benefit from the trouble. The Chief Minister is capable of managing the required majority in the Assembly and he is a comfortable position,” said a state party leader.

As per the arithmatic, the Congress and BJP are sure to get one seat each from the state for the indirect Rajya Sabha polls. The tussle is for the third seat for which non-BJP and non-Congress MLAs are being lured by rival parties.

The term of Congress’ Digvijaya Singh, BJP’s Satyanarayan Jatiya and Prabhat Jha is coming to end and the elections are due this month. While the two rival parties are sure to get one seat each, for the third seat, the Congress needs the support of two MLAs while the BJP needs at least nine MLAs.

In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 107. The simple majority mark is 116.

–IANS

miz/prs

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