There is no end to the cold war between the Congress and the BJP. Kailash Vijayvargiya, general secretary of BJP and a powerful leader of Madhya Pradesh, said that his party would soon initiate mission Madhya Pradesh which will be launched only after the party wins the confidence vote in Karnataka Vidhan Sabha and normalcy is restored there. Talking to newsmen in Jaipur he said “It is not our wish to make a government fall.
But the Congress MLAs have uncertainty in themselves.” He said the Congress MLAs had no confidence in their leadership and were marred by division. Therefore, they felt that the leadership of Prime Minister Modi is far better. He added that the Congress and its governments were falling due to their own works. But after reaching Bhopal he changed his stance on what he really meant when he talked about his next mission target, West Bengal. Observers feel that Vijayavargiya is uncomfortable because the Kamal Nath Government has decided to order an enquiry into the massive irregularities in the disbursement of old age pension, which occured when he was the mayor of Indore.
A three-member cabinet sub-committee has been constituted to decide what should be the terms of enquiry and other issues related to irregularities. The sub-committee is headed by finance minister Tarun Bhanot, with the other members being Kamleshwar Patel and Mahendra Singh Sisodia. It may be mentioned here that former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan constituted a judicial commission with Justice N K.Jain as its chief to enquire into the irregularities. But the commission’s report was not placed on the table of the Vidhan Sabha and no follow-up action was taken. The commission found several irregularities in the payment of pensions.
The Government has also decided to order a fresh enquiry in VYAPAM scam. This enquiry among others will affect Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The state government has also decided to order an enquiry into the scandal relating to what is known as e-tendering. This will affect more than one former BJP ministers. But it will mainly affect former BJP minister Narottam Mishra. Commenting on the government’s decision to hold an enquiry against him, Mishra said “I will quit politics if found guilty in e-tendering scam”. The BJP has also questioned the government’s intention alleging that ruling Congress is resorting to political vendetta.
Making a scathing attack over the ongoing investigation into the e-tendering scam, Mishra dared the Kamal Nath-led government to summon him in the case and said that if he is slapped with a notice he would take out a ‘band-baja barat’ (march with a band party) to reach the investigating agency. “The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) says it is a scam. But, when there were no transactions made how can they call it a scam in the first place? They also talked about tampering and have booked peons and clerks in the matter. In fact, all the big fishes and crocodiles are very much at large, while the government is targeting small associates. The Congress government must act against the bureaucrats who actually had the passwords for releasing tenders.” Mishra told media persons.
The BJP leader also hit out at the Congress government for mudslinging . He said there was no evidence of even Rs 3 crore being exchanged. “The only thing Congress is doing these days is putting political pressure on the investigating agencies for character assassination of BJP leaders. This seems to be a well-planned conspiracy hatched by the Congress” alleged Mishra.
Meanwhile the fate of two BJP legislators who voted in favour of Congress in Vidhan Sabha hangs in the air. The BJP has not taken any action against them and continues to be indecisive about the future course of action. Sources in the BJP said that the national working president JP Nadda is also likely to talk to the legislators through a video call or in person, if he visits the state to discuss crucial issues, which are causing resentment in the state organisation. However, after the ongoing Parliament session was extended till August 7, his visit is quite unlikely sources said.
Congress on its part is also in no hurry to decide on the fate of the two rebel BJP MLAs. The party would rather wait and see the BJP take initiatives on how to deal with the duo. “The conscience of the two MLAs who voted for the Congress is clear. They are with us. It’s now for the BJP to decide on what they would do with the duo. If they are expelled from the party they will still remain MLA and can sit with the treasury bench. The speaker will take the final call on their membership but for that they will have to wait for the next session”, said a senior state Congress office-bearer seeking anonymity.
“If the two MLAs or anyone of the two wishes to resign and get a fresh mandate from people from their constituency it will again be a setback for the BJP. It’s now going to be a matter between the two MLAs, BJP and the speaker as far as the decision on their fate is concerned. We just have to stand by them (the two MLAs) in all circumstances” he added.
The writer is a freelance journalist. Views are personal.