Jyotiraditya Scindia quits Congress after meeting with Amit Shah, Narendra Modi; Sonia Gandhi expels ex-MP for 'anti-party activities'

  • Disgruntled Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress, minutes after meeting Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Delhi

  • In his resignation letter, which is addressed to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia said: '...this is a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year'

  • Legislators loyal to Scindia, who has been upset with the Congress leadership with his marginalisation in the affairs of the Madhya Pradesh Congress, are likely to quit the party to reduce the Kamal Nath-led government to a minority

Disgruntled Congress leader and four-time Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress on Tuesday morning, minutes after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi.

In his resignation letter, which is addressed to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia said: "...this is a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year".

Follow LIVE updates on Madhya Pradesh political crisis here

"While my aim and purpose remain the same as it has always been from the very beginning, to serve the people of my state and country, I believe I am unable to do this anymore within this party," he wrote. He added that he wanted a "fresh start" to work towards the "aspirations of his people".

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

"The Congress president has approved the expulsion of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Indian National Congress with immediate effect for anti-party activities," according to a statement from AICC general secretary KC Venugopal.

Sources told PTI that Scindia first met Shah, and then the two leaders met Modi at the prime minister's residence.

Legislators loyal to Scindia, who has been upset with the Congress leadership with his marginalisation in the affairs of the Madhya Pradesh Congress, are likely to quit the party to reduce the Kamal Nath government to a minority.

 Jyotiraditya Scindia quits Congress after meeting with Amit Shah, Narendra Modi; Sonia Gandhi expels ex-MP for anti-party activities

Former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. Image courtesy PIB

It is likely to be followed by the BJP staking claim to form the government in the state.

Seventeen MLAs, including at least six ministers, known to be Scindia loyalists, are currently in Bengaluru. Kamal Nath promised to reconstitute the state cabinet after an emergency meeting late on Monday night. Following the meet, around 20 ministers resigned.

In Delhi, sources told PTI that hectic efforts were underway by the Congress leadership to save the party's government in Madhya Pradesh and placate Scindia who has long been at odds with Kamal Nath over leadership issues.

"The party high command is sending emissaries, including Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot to Scindia in order to win him back. But the efforts have not borne any fruit yet," a source said.

Pilot tried to reach out to Scindia, but failed. The disgruntled Scindia did not respond to his message, sources said.

As of now, the Madhya Pradesh government has 120 MLAs — just four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member Assembly. Of these, 114 are from the Congress, two from the BSP, one from the Samajwadi Party and four are Independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs and two seats are currently vacant.

But if the 17 MLAs resign, the majority mark in the Assembly will come down to 106, paving the way for the BJP (which has 107 MLAs) to stake a claim to the government.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 10, 2020 13:21:30 IST



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