Kamal Nath
Kamal Nath
-(PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Recovering quickly from the Scindia setback, the Congress party on Wednesday launched a massive operation to salvage its government in MP, which is on the brink of collapse with over 20 MLAs deserting Kamal Nath.

Both Nath and party trouble-shooter Digvijaya Singh are trying to wean away the rebel MLAs and make inroads into the BJP camp.

The party also flew 94 of its MLAs to Jaipur to protect them from any further poaching by the BJP. The party has also roped in former Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar who is busy establishing contact with the rebel MLAs in police protection in Bengaluru. Incidentally, Shivakumar has been named him the Karnataka Congress President.

Shivakumar reportedly informed Kamal Nath in the evening that most of the rebel MLAs will return to the party as nine of them have contacted by him on phone and said they were loyal to Scindia but the prospects of seeking re-election, if they resign, has made them think again.

They were relieved when told that Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati in Bhopal has refused to accept their resignations sent via e-mails, unless they personally meet him and confirm the same.

Another Congress leader claimed the rebel MLAs were misled by Scindia and they are now in touch with Nath after Digvijaya Singh spoke to some of them. MP Minister P C Sharma said the rebels were waiting for the "Kamal Nath masterstroke" to frustrate for the second time this month attempts by former BJP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to capture power.

The number game is still in favour of the BJP which has 107 MLAs in the Assembly, whereas the Congress strength is diminished to 94 after the revolt by the rebel MLAs.

The Congress is trying to change this scenario by not only winning back its MLAs but also snatching some from the BJP, which ferried its MLAs to Delhi and then shifted them to Gurugram in BJP-ruled Haryana.

The Congress is counting on two BJP MLAs who have publicly revolted against the saffron party and who are in touch with Nath; they have assured him that they can bring along at least 12 to 15 other BJP MLAs.

An AICC general secretary keeping a tab on the developments said the rebel MLAs had threatened with resignations only for the pressure tactic to get the BJP's Rajya Sabha ticket to Scindia and they are planning to return to Bhopal since the BJP has already announced his candidature after he joined the party in Delhi.

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