Amid a political tussle between the Congress and opposition BJP in Madhya Pradesh, a state minister on Tuesday said the rebel MLAs of the ruling party being held in "captivity" by the BJP in Bengaluru have been "hypnotised" to make them read out ready-made scripts.
The statement of Public Relations Minister P C Sharma came hours after the 22 rebel MLAs of the Congress held a press conference in Bengaluru, where they have been holed up for at least 9 days, for the first time. These MLAs resigned on March 10, pushing the Kamal Nath government to the brink.
"These MLAs are under pressure. What is their objection to coming to Bhopal and holding a press conference here? They are under captivity in BJP-ruled Karnataka. They are hypnotised in captivity. After their return, they will come out of their hypnotised state," alleged Sharma.
These rebel Congress MLAs are only reading out scripts given to them, he claimed and reiterated that the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh will survive the crisis.
Madhya Pradesh has been in a political turmoil since March 10 after senior Congress party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia defected to the BJP and the MLAs resigned.
Legislative Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati last week accepted resignations of six of these MLAs, while keeping 16 on hold.
Talking to reporters in Bengaluru earlier in the day, a woman MLA said, "Jyotiraditya Scindia is our leader; we have been doing politics with him for years, most of us are in politics because of him...We are still thinking regarding joining BJP. If we get protection from central police, we will go to Madhya Pradesh and think about it."
Rejecting Congress leaders' claims that they were held hostage here, these MLAs clarified that they had come to the city voluntarily.
Rebel Congress MLAs also claimed that they had the support of 20 more legislators.