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BJP leadership soft-pedals cross-voting by MLAs in MP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership seems to have retracted on plans to review the cross-voting by two party MLAs in the monsoon session of the Madhya Pradesh Assemby. The much-talked about meeting between state leaders and central leadership fizzled out due to poor attendance.
BJP leadership soft-pedals cross-voting by MLAs in MP

Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, also the in charge of membership drive in eastern and north-eastern states, could not attend the meeting.

According to earlier reports, the party was to take a call on the two MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol who voted for a government motion on the last day of the session, embarrassing the party that was boasting of pulling down the Kamal Nath government.

While both Tripathi and Kol abstained without any intimation, many others had reportedly communicated their unavailability for the Thursday meeting.

According to earlier reports, BJP executive president J.P. Nadda was to interact with the state leaders through video-conferencing. He made no appearance. BL Santosh, the new general secretary who recently replaced RSS heavyweight Ram Lal, also failed to arrive.

The leaders claimed Thursday's meeting was meant to take stock of the membership drive.

State BJP chief Rakesh Singh accused the Congress government of trying to buy the opposition MLAs. He said many BJP legislators had complained that the Congress was approaching them with big money.

BJP legislator Sitaram Adivasi from Sheopur had alleged that the Congress leadership had offered him money to leave the BJP.

As the Congress at the national level was in total disarray, the state leadership was indulging in horse-trading, Singh said. "We need not pay attention to the confusion being ceated by the Congress to cover up its failure in the state," the state BJP chief said.

He also claimed, the BJP would surpass the membership target.

The BJP has not taken any action against Tripathi and Kol apparently because it would like to wait and watch if the Congress offered them any ministerial posts or perks, which would attract action under anti-defection laws. But if the BJP expelled them they would be free to join the Congress ministry.

A BJP leader said, "We would wait till the next Assembly session on how they react to the party whip. The BJP central leadership had hoped to win them back. They have not responded."

( With inputs from IANS )

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