ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Curtains are temporarily down on the high political drama that unfolded on Tuesday midnight in New Delhi when ruling Congress and supporting MLAs from Madhya Pradesh were found 'confined' in a Haryana resort.
But the alleged failed attempt by the BJP to destabilise or pull down the Congress government in the state under 'Operation Lotus' has exposed major chinks in the ruling dispensation in the form of angry MLAs and should serve a warning for Kamal Nath government, political watchers feel.
They say that the Congress has temporarily managed to tide over the crisis, but it has brought out the fact that some MLAs from the ruling party and its allies like the SP and the BSP, along with a few independents, are upset about the current situation and thus vulnerable to horsetrading.
The Congress managed to 'get back' six MLAs—three of the Congress, two of the BSP and one of the SP—from Delhi on Wednesday, but four legislators, including three of the Congress and one independent, are still 'missing' and not in touch with senior Congress leaders.
They are said to be cooped up in BJP-ruled Karnataka, though an independent MLA, Surendra Singh alias Shera, has claimed that he was in Karnataka with his family on a private tour.
However, the 'Operation Lotus' is said to have been called off by the BJP at the instance of senior leaders in New Delhi after the major drama unfolded publicly, sources said, giving some relief to the Congress ahead of polls to three Rajya Sabha seats from state.
In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 107. The simple majority mark is 116. Two seats are currently vacant.
Though officially the BJP has strongly denied any attempt of horsetrading in the state, ex-minister Narottam Mishra, who is said to be a key player in the episode, kept the heartbeats of the Congress high with his claims on Wednesday night that 17 Congress MLAs are in touch with him.
Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh on Thursday named five BJP leaders including ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Mishra as responsible for the horsetrading attempt.
Political commentator Manish Dixit said that it seemed that a serious attempt was indeed made by the BJP to destabilise the government, but it failed due to alacrity of Congress leaders at this time. However, it made a point clear that a chunk of MLAs were unhappy at not being given any post in government or board of corporations in the state. "The Kamal Nath government will have to look at this issue and also focus on appointment of a new party president in state as pointed out by some," Dixit said.