Madhya Pradesh: Chouhan's 'statement' about Nath government's fall has given Congress an issue

The leak of a video of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan purportedly saying that Central leadership of the BJP decided to topple the Kamal Nath government has given the Congress an issue before Assembly by-elections.

After controversy broke out over Chouhan's speech, the BJP denied that it engineered the Nath government's fall.

However, in a cryptic tweet in Hindi on Thursday, Chouhan said, "Destruction of sinners is a virtuous act. That is what our religion says."

Some 30 Congress workers, including the party's Indore unit chief, were arrested on Friday for trying to stage a demonstration over Chouhan's speech.

By-elections are due for 24 seats in Madhya Pradesh after the death of two sitting MLAs and resignations of 22 MLAs from Jyotiraditya Scindia's camp including minister Tulsi Silawat which led to the Congress government's fall in March.

The Election Commission is yet to announce the polls.

Chouhan, in a speech in Indore, purportedly said that "Central leaders decided that the government should fall otherwise it will lead to the ruin (of the state). And you tell me, without Jyotiraditya Scindia and and Tulsi (Silawat) Bhai, would it have fallen? There was no other way." MP Congress spokesmen Bhupendra Gupta said the party would not sit quiet. "We are going to protest and tell people across the state that the BJP has pulled down the Congress government using every possible means," he said.

But state BJP chief spokesperson Deepak Vijayawargiya claimed that the video was "distorted" and added that Congress was creating a din as it knew it was staring at defeat.

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