Madhya Pradesh: BSP, SP MLAs who returned, deny 'abduction', horse-trading by BJP
Bhopal, Mar 05: Legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party, who were brought back by a special plane by Congress leaders to Bhopal, on Thursday denied charges of horse-trading and abduction by BJP leaders in Madhya Pradesh.
While reiterating their support to the Congress-led Kamal Nath government, BSP MLAs Ram Bai and Sanjeev Singh Kushwaha and SP legislator Rajesh Shukla denied that any BJP leader contacted them and offered a deal. A group of Congress, BSP and SP MLAs arrived here on Wednesday afternoon in a special plane along with Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot.
Talking to reporters on Thursday, Rakesh Shukla, the SP MLA from Mehgaon, denied the Congress' charges of horse- trading and abduction by BJP leaders. "There is nothing like that. I and a BSP MLA (Kushwaha) coincidently reached Delhi together and were staying at a hotel in Gurugram. We are not so weak that someone can abduct us," Shukla said, adding that none from the BJP contacted him in the past two-three days. Reiterating his support to the Kamal Nath government, Shukla said the government might have been facing "threat from Congress leaders", but not from him.
Asked about returning in the chartered plane along with Congress leaders, Shukla said he was called by state ministers Jaivardhan Singh, Jitu Patwari and Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh to the Madhya Pradesh Bhawan in New Delhi and offered the flight. "Since I had to return to Bhopal, I came with them," he said.
Taking potshots at Congress leaders, Shukla expressed surprise that those who were allegedly abducted were denying the charges, while "outsiders" were making claims about them. BSP MLA Kushwaha also denied abduction and horse- trading charges, and said it is "not a crime" to visit Delhi. He also denied being contacted by any BJP leader. While expressing his party's support to the Congress- led regime, Kushwaha said, "I was contacted by Digvijaya Singh and offered special plane to Bhopal. So, I took the flight." Kushwaha and Shukla also said that Congress leaders should be prevented from issuing statements about "horse- trading and abduction", at least about them. Kushwaha also demanded that chief minister take action against the ministers who were claiming they were "rescued" from BJP leaders.
"The horse-trading by BJP are all rumours...We were not abducted. I went there and returned of my own free will," another BSP MLA, Rambai, said. Asked about her presence in a Haryana hotel, as seen in a viral video, Rambai said, "Ask about the truth of this video to Jaivardhan Singh and Jitu Patwari as they were also present."
To a question about Digvijaya Singh's allegations that she was taken to Delhi by BJP leader Bhupendra Singh, the BSP legislator said she was in the same flight in which the BJP leader was travelling. "I have not got any offer from any leader," she said, when asked about Digvijaya Singh's allegations that huge amounts of money were offered to the MLAs in a bid to topple the government.
In a late-night political drama in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, the Congress alleged that the opposition BJP took eight MLAs to a hotel in Haryana as part of a conspiracy to topple the Kamal Nath government. On Thursday morning, the Congress held a press conference in New Delhi, in which it claimed the BJP "abducted 14 MLAs" to bring down its government in Madhya Pradesh.