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Fate of Kamal Nath govt still hangs in balance

Fate of Kamal Nath govt still hangs in balance

New Delhi: With senior Congress leader and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the grand old party to join the BJP and 22 Congress MLAs, who are said to be of Scindia camp, resigning, the future of Chief Minister Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state has been thrown into uncertainty.

Notably, Congress has 114 MLAs, while BJP has 107 MLAs in the 230-member state Assembly.

The Congress, which was a little 'relaxed' even after Scindia showed his "colours" to join the BJP by resigning on Tuesday, came into damage-control mode only after holding a meeting of its remaining 90 MLAs in Bhopal on Tuesday evening and there on it was decided to shift all party MLAs to safer locations.

The Congress' tested troubleshooter D K Shivakumar, who on Wednesday was appointed as Karnataka Congress president, was brought into action to bring back rebel MLAs to the party fold.

It may be the result of Shivakumar's damage-control strategies that some 13 MLAs of the so-called Scindia camp have "assured" the party leaders that they wouldn't join BJP; but will they support the Kamal Nath government in the floor test, if it takes place, is not yet clear that has put the fate of 18-month Congress government in Madhya Pradesh into limbo.

On Wednesday, Congress shifted its 90 MLAs to Rajasthan, while BJP moved its MLAs to Gurugram.

"We are not keeping quiet. We are not sleeping," said senior leader Digvijaya Singh on party's move to save the sinking government in Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Kamal Nath's son Nakul Nath on Wednesday said the party's government in the state will survive and the MLAs who have resigned will soon return to its fold.

As per sources, the party is still hopeful that rebel MLAs may come and extend their support to the government, but at the same, they are also worried about future of the government as leaders are not 'sure' till when this government would last.

"Now it depends on the moves of the rebel MLAs. If they come back, the government would be on the safer side and if they continue to remain out, there are least chances that government would be saved," the party insiders said.

In a related development, soon after Scindia joined BJP, he was named party's nominee for Rajya Sabha from MP in place of BJP's outgoing Rajya Sabha member Prabhat Jha. Meanwhile, Jha denied the reports of him being upset with former Congress leader's entry in BJP by calling them "baseless".

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