Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA Sanjay Pathak spoke to NDTV and alleged threats to his life
The ongoing political drama in Madhya Pradesh has extended to BJP MLAs Sanjay Pathak and Vishwas Sarang claiming a threat to their lives following the removal of security officers allotted to them by the Congress government in power in the state.
"On Thursday night while I was traveling home from Bhopal airport vehicles driven by cops and some other men began following mine. They tried to stop my car at a dark spot. However, my driver managed to get me home safely," Sanjay Pathak, a mining baron-turned-politician from Katni district, told NDTV.
"I'm a four-time MLA and personal security officer (PSO) allotted since 20 years has been changed. There is serious threat of my life, I may be abducted or killed, if I don't join the Congress," he alleged.
Mr Pathak also denied having met Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who has a wafer-thin majority after 10 MLAs were allegedly spirited away by the BJP in an effort to bring down the government.
Mr Pathak also denied having talked to Mr Nath over the phone.
Vishwas Sarang, who is also a former minister, made similar allegations.
"MY PSO has been changed just to spy on me. I won't take the new PSO. Plain-clothes cops are keeping an eye on people visiting my office and not allowing many to come to my office. There is serious threat to my life and I could be murdered or even lynched by mob," he claimed dramatically.
Both Mr Pathak and Mr Sarang are among those accused by senior Congress leader Digivijaya Singh of attempting to topple the 15-month-old government.
Mr Singh, who led a "rescue" operation in the early hours of Wednesday to bring back MLAs from a resort near Delhi, also accused the BJP of offering up to Rs 35 crore to win support.
"I have never made any allegations (but) Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Narottam Mishra both had a dispute over who will become chief minister. Now it has been decided one will be chief minister, other the deputy," he said, adding, "This would not be tolerated".
Sources have told NDTV that BJP leader Narottam Mishra and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan may also have been involved.
Meanwhile, Hardeep Dang, one of the four missing Congress MLAs has sent his letter of resignation.
The Kamal Nath government has 120 MLAs — four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member Assembly. Of these, 114 are from the Congress, two from the BSP, one from the Samajwadi Party and four are independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs and two seats are currently vacant.
If the three other missing MLAs resign, it will bring down the strength the assembly to 224 and the majority mark to 113.
However, four MLAs who returned from Delhi this week have denied Congress claims that the BJP either offered them money or held them hostage. All four made it clear there was no threat to the Kamal Nath government.