Peeved with marginalisation, Scindia meets PM Modi, likely to join BJP

Congress MLAs loyal to Scindia (pictured), believed to be anywhere between 15-20, may resign to reduce the ruling Congress in the state to a minority.

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, peeved with the party leadership over his perceived marginalisation, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Tuesday as the BJP moved swiftly to come to power in Madhya Pradesh by aiming to topple the Kamal Nath government.

Scindia drove down to the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the former Bharatiya Janata Party president who continues to shape his party's political affairs, and the two leaders then went to the prime minister's residence, where they held talks for over an hour.

Soon after his meeting with Modi, the former Union minister tendered his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying it was now time for him to move on.

Gandhi, however, immediately expelled him from the Congress for "anti-party activities", as the crisis looming over the Madhya Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath deepened.

There was no official word on what transpired in the meeting, but BJP sources asserted that the decision of the party's top two leaders to hold long deliberations with Scindia, scion of the erstwhile Gwalior royal with considerable influence in the region, underlined the importance they attach to him.

Scindia may join the saffron party and be sent the to Rajya Sabha, sources said, adding that he was upset with the Congress as he believes that Nath and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh were working in tandem to marginalise him.

Congress MLAs loyal to him, believed to be anywhere between 15-20, may resign to reduce the ruling Congress in the state to a minority.

While the Congress, which was voted to power in the state after 15 years in 2018, has 114 MLAs, the BJP has 107 legislators in the 230-member assembly.

Four Independent MLAs, two lawmakers of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one Samajwadi Party legislator are supporting the Congress-led government.

As many as 17 MLAs close to Scindia went incommunicado on Monday, with most of them believed to be camping in Bengaluru.

Election for three Rajya Sabha seats from the state is slated for March 26. Both the Congress and the BJP are sure to win one seat each, and the changing dynamics in the state politics means that the saffron party may eye to win the third seat.

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