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Madhya Pradesh Crisis : 20 ministers resign as Kamal Nath tries to save govt

Congress government in Madhya Pradesh plunged into a crisis on Monday as a sulking Jyotiraditya Scindia, along with 17 MLAs, virtually revolted prompting Chief Minister Kamal Nath to call a late-night cabinet meeting where around 20 ministers resigned reposing faith in his leadership.

Nath alleged that the BJP was adopting immoral ways to “destabilise my government” and vowed not to let it happen.

After the dramatic developments, MP Forest Minister Umang Singhar told PTI, “We have resigned. Now it is up to the chief minister to take a call.” Out of the 28 ministers, 20 were present at the cabinet meeting, besides the chief minister.

The minister said they have requested the chief minister to reconstitute the cabinet, in an apparent move to quell dissent in the party by accommodating some of the rebel MLAs in the council of ministers.

Nath, who had met party president Sonia Gandhi earlier in the day, had cut short his Delhi visit and rushed to Bhopal where he called the urgent cabinet meeting at around 10 pm after a faction led by senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia who, along with at least 17 legislators, went incommunicado, sparking intense speculation about the fate of his government.

Many of these legislators, including ministers, had flown to Bengaluru Monday morning.

Scindia, however, kept his cards close to his chest and there was no word from him on the developments.

The BJP, meanwhile, called a meeting of its MLAs on Tuesday, where sources said Shivraj Singh Chouhan may be elected as the leader of the legislature party.

Trouble has been brewing in the Congress ahead of Rajya Sabha polls as it had last week accused the BJP of trying to topple its government after 10 MLAs of the ruling party and those of its allies travelled to Haryana, though the BJP had denied the charge.

Of them, eight had come back and many of them wanted ministerial berths, according to sources. However, two Congress MLAs have not yet returned.

Scindia and Nath have fallen out over the post of the state Congress president, which is currently held by the chief minister.

While calls made to Scindia by PTI remained unanswered on Monday, mobile phones of at least six ministers who are supporters of the Guna royal are switched off.

The ministers whose mobile phones were switched off were health minister Tulsi Silavat, labour minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia, transport minister Govind Singh Rajput, women and child development minister Imarti Devi, food and civil supplies minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar and school education minister Dr Prabhura Choudhary.

Sources said several legislators, including a few ministers, arrived in Bengaluru by chartered flights and were staying at an undisclosed location.

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