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'If Offered for Free, Take it': Kamal Nath's 'Advice' to Cong MLAs on Charges of Cash Offers from BJP

File photo of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

File photo of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said this while responding to queries on charges of Congress MLAs being offered money by BJP leaders in the state.

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Vivek Trivedi

As horse-trading charges intensified in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said he has asked legislators of the ruling camp to take the money allegedly being offered by the BJP leadership in the state if given for free.

He said this while responding to queries on charges of Congress MLAs being offered money by the BJP. “As MLAs are telling me about money offers, I am telling them ‘phokat me mil raha hai, toh le lena’ (accept the offer if given for free),” Nath said.

When asked about the fate of his government that the saffron party has been claiming is functioning on a very thin majority and can be overthrown easily, the senior Congress leader said there is nothing to worry.

On Tuesday, Congress MP Digvijaya Singh accused the BJP of approaching Congress MLAs and allies with offers up to Rs 35 crore. He asked former home minister senior leader Bhupendra Singh if he had taken BSP MLA Rambai Singh to New Delhi in a chartered plane.

While claiming he had full faith on the BSP MLA’s loyalty, Singh urged former chief minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan to comment on the issue. The BSP and Samajwadi Party are extending outside support to the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Baijnath Kushwaha said senior saffron camp functionaries, including Chouhan, have approached him with offer.

Kushwaha is said to have told Minister Govind Singh about how one Pramod Sharma from Bhind had met him on “behalf of some BJP leaders” a month ago and offered him Rs 25 crore or a ministerial post and Rs 5 crore.

"It is not a big deal for me. I will turn down bigger offers and this is my decision. I had nothing, but I was made an MLA. What more do I need? I am with the Congress and I can't be bought at any cost," Kushwaha said.

After a meeting, Govind Singh said Digvijaya Singh’s charges of horse-trading are true and urged the BJP to stop daydreaming about forming a government in the state anytime soon.

AICC general secretary in-charge of MP Deepak Babaria held a meeting with the MP ministers on Tuesday.

The war of words intensified after BJP MLAs Sharad Kol and Narayan Tripathi skipped a party meeting organised in Bhopal during the day.

The two legislators had earlier voted in favour of Nath’s government, though the BJP did not take any action against them at the time. Both are former Congressmen who had switched to the BJP.

After the party meeting, former minister Rajendra Shukl said the Congress is in touch with BJP MLAs in the Vidhya region.

With the Rajya Sabha elections approaching, the two camps are working hard to grab the third seat on offer as both are confident of winning one nomination each.


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