In viral clip, Chouhan claims BJP toppled Kamal Nath's government
Months after Kamal Nath's government fell short of a majority, eventually losing Madhya Pradesh to BJP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a viral audio clip has hinted that the saffron party orchestrated Congress' ouster. At a meeting in Indore's Sanwer yesterday, Chouhan purportedly said that BJP's central leadership "dislodged the government". The audio clip's veracity couldn't be ascertained at the time of the press.
Chouhan, a three times Chief Minister of the central state, suffered defeat in the Assembly Elections of 2018. Congress, too, couldn't get a clear majority on its own and formed the government with the support of others, including BSP. After handling the reins since December 2018, Nath's government was jolted with the resignation of Gandhi family loyalist Jyotiraditya Scindia.
After Scindia joined BJP, telling Congress' President Sonia Gandhi that it was time to move on, 22 MLAs followed his steps too. On March 23, Chouhan took oath as the CM for the fourth time. The 61-year-old has also been the one denying charges that BJP was behind the fall of Nath's government. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also said the same.
But Chouhan's viral audio clip hints BJP was indeed involved in the coup. "It was the central leadership which had decided that government will be dislodged, else it would ruin everything," he purportedly said in the clip. "Tell me, was it possible to dislodge the government without Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tulsi Silawat (who also joined BJP)? There was no other way," he went on.
"I welcome Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tulsi Silawat, as Tulsi Silawat left minister's post for the formation of the BJP government. In the coming by-poll if Tulsi Silawat doesn't become MLA again, will I be able to remain CM, will the BJP government survive," he asked.
Reacting to the clip, which is being widely circulated in MP, Congress' Narendra Saluja said Chouhan has revealed the truth himself that BJP planned Nath's exit as the CM. "Chouhan's statement in Indore has also unraveled another truth that it was BJP's central leadership which had decided to dislodge the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh," he added.
Earlier on Monday, Chouhan slammed Nath for ruining the state in 15 months. Speaking to reporters, he claimed, "The Madhya Pradesh Secretariat was turned into a hub of 'dalals'. Congress government used to talk about money transactions there every day." He alleged middlemen thought they would get away with anything during the previous Congress regime, and all of this pained him deeply.
Meanwhile, BJP has gone into a serious by-poll mode. The dates for elections of the 24 seats are yet to be announced by Election Commission, but rules say it must be concluded before September second week. 16 of these seats are in the Chambal-Gwalior region, the citadel of Scindia. In the 230-member Assembly, BJP has 107 members and Congress 92.