Chink in BJP armour exposed

BJP national vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP state President Rakesh Singh leave after a meeting with state party leaders, in Bhopal, on Thursday. PTI

Having proved its majority in the floor of the house with the help of two defectors on Wednesday, the Kamal Nath government has exposed a chink in the BJP armour.

The stunning defeat has forced the main opposition to change its tune from boastful talks of toppling the government any time to crying hoarse over the manner of the floor test.

Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava on Thursday claimed whatever happened in the state Assembly in the name of floor test was “a ridiculous child play which is meaningless.” 

Talking to reporters, the Leader of Opposition said floor test would have been credible only if the government had sought a division of votes and the BJP had issued a whip for its members.

In reply, the chief minister asked the Opposition to honour the mandate to Congress and cooperate with the government for the state’s development.  

Meanwhile, the fate of the two BJP MLA, NP Tripathi and Sharad Kol, who voted in favour of the Congress, is uncertain. The BJP doesn’t want to lose them. The Congress is in no hurry to take them in its fold either.  

Bhargava said he would talk to the rebel MLAs to know what was promised to them. BJP vice president and MP in charge Vinay Sahastrabuddhe expressed the confidence that the two MLAs would remain with the party.

The chief minister’s deft political ploy in securing majority has forced the BJP on the back foot. State BJP president Rakesh Singh had long confabulation with senior party colleagues including former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday night.

Party sources said the leaders concluded that any covert or overt hints from the party about toppling the Kamal Nath government at this juncture could prove counterproductive. They also decided to send out this message to party MLAs so that they desist from talking about destabilising the government

A senior BJP leader said the party would prefer to wait till at least November before contemplating any future strategy about staking claims in Madhya Pradesh. He cited three reasons for holding back the ambition to destabilise the Congress government.

One, neither Narendra Modi nor Amit Shah, for now, seem interested in rocking the Kamal Nath’s boat. Two, local body elections in Madhya Pradesh are due in November and much will depend on how the BJP fares vis-a-vis the Congress in the polls. Three, the BJP doesn’t want to take the risk of embroiling its image in another horse-trading after Karnataka in view of the Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand due in October. 

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