Bhopal: After the deputy leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh defected to the ruling BJP on Thursday, a Congress member said he had warned party members of the impending switch.
BJP yesterday pulled off a coup of sorts when it poached away Congress Legislature Party`s deputy leader Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi after he had blocked a debate on a no-trust motion against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the Assembly.
Chaturvedi later announced his decision to quit Congress.
Soon after the high-voltage drama yesterday, Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh said, "I had (a month back) informed party leaders about Chaturvedi`s secret parleys with BJP leaders, including its organisation general secretary Arvind Menon."
Although Congress leaders have claimed they had anticipated yesterday`s developments, they were apparently caught unawares in the House when Chaturvedi suddenly got up from his seat to point out flaws in the party`s no-trust motion.
Officially, although Congress leaders maintained that Chaturvedi`s defection would not have any impact on the fortunes of the party in the state, sources said the defection could hurt its chances in an election year.
Speaking out in the House yesterday, Chaturvedi said he was against the no-confidence motion as it made no mention of the pilgrims missing in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand.
He said he was also hurt by Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh`s tweet over the allegations of sodomy against former state finance minister Raghavji.
Singh`s tweet, Chaturvedi said, had hurt his religious sentiments.
However, defending Singh, state Congress spokesman Mukesh Nayak told, "I don`t think Chaturvedi has that much of spiritual depth to understand a subject like (Lord) Ram."
Singh had not commented on Ram, but on disgraced former minister Raghavji over the sodomy charges against him.
"It appears that Chaturvedi might have smelt his defeat from Bhind constituency this time and, therefore, he has conveniently changed loyalties. But I am sure he will lose the polls from BJP also," he said.
Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh, too, flayed Chaturvedi for letting down Congress much like Brutus`s betrayal of Roman general Julius Caesar.