NEW DELHI/BHOPAL, March 11 - Long-time Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia crossed over to the BJP on Wednesday, leaving the Madhya Pradesh government tottering precariously and both parties scrambling to send their legislators far away from the state capital � and from the machinations of each other.
While Madhya Pradesh�s ruling Congress, pushed to the brink of collapse after the resignation of 22 legislators close to Scindia, herded about 90 of its legislators to resorts near Jaipur, the state�s opposition BJP sent its MLAs to a luxury hotel in Gurgaon.
And 19 of those who resigned and whose letters were taken to the Speaker by the BJP are secluded in a hotel in Bengaluru.
As the number crunching intensified and resort politics played out in �friendly states� - Rajasthan is ruled by the Congress and Haryana and Karnataka by the BJP - Scindia formally joined the BJP in the presence of party president J P Nadda and said the country�s future is secure in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Scindia, 49, the proverbial centre of the political storm in Madhya Pradesh, belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior and has family links with both the Congress and the BJP.
While his father Madhavrao Scindia was in the Congress, his grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia was one of the founder members of the BJP and his aunts Yashodhara Raje Scindia and Vasundhara Raje Scindia are active members of the saffron party.
Calling Madhya Pradesh a piece of his heart, Scindia said at a press conference with Nadda by his side his dream for the state had been shattered in the last 18 months � when the Congress won the assembly elections and Kamal Nath became chief minister.
Welcoming him into the BJP, Nadda said he was �joining his family�.
�This is a joyous day for BJP and me personally. Today, I remember Rajmata Scindia... The entire family is with BJP,� former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
Amid expectations that he will be the BJP�s nominee from the state for the Rajya Sabha, Scindia said he is �pained� and �distressed� at not being able to serve the people and described the Congress as a party living in denial.
The former Union minister and four-time Congress MP, known to be close to Rahul Gandhi, said the party is not what it used to be. � PTI