Amid the political uncertainty in Karnataka and the melt-down of the party in Goa, senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday met Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath here over lunch, and also dined with MLAs of Congress and its allies.
While the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka is teetering after resignations of several MLAs, in Goa two-thirds of Congress MLAs have joined the BJP.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Nath-led Congress government is holding onto a wafer-thin majority.
It was not known how many MLAs had dinner with Scindia at a venue in the posh Char Imli area here.
It is speculated that Scindia, known to be very close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, met the legislators in a bid to feel their pulses in the wake of developments in Karnataka and Goa.
The dinner had been organised by Madhya Pradesh health minister Tulsi Selawat, who is considered to be a Scindia confidante.
The BJP, in May, had demanded that Governor convene a special session for floor test after the saffron party won 28 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh.
In the Assembly polls last year, the Congress won 114 of the state's 230 seats, two short of the majority mark of 116. The BSP, having two MLAs, and Samajwadi Party, which has one, are supporting the Congress along with four Independents.
On Saturday, 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs had resigned including 1 Independent. The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength came down to 117 after (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-1) after Nagesh withdrew his support from the government, besides the Speaker. Adding to this if the 3 MLAs resignations are accepted, the government's numbers will go down to 101.
If the resignations of the 16 Congress-JD(S) MLAs are accepted by the Speaker, the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s numbers will come down to 101, besides the vote of the Speaker. If the Speaker accepts the 16 resignations, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly will come down to 209 out of 225, which will leave the half-way mark to 104. As the saffron party has 107 MLAs in its support now, it can call a trust vote and form a government in the state.
On Wednesday evening, two-thirds (10 out of 15) of Congress MLAs from Goa submitted their resignation to the Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar and expressed their desire to join the BJP. The group of the 10 Congress MLAs is led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar. The MLAs include Atanasio Monserratte, Jeniffer Monserratte, Francis Silveira, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Cleaofacio Dias, Wilfred DSa, Nilkant Halarnkar and Isidor Fernandes. On Thursday morning, the 10 Goa MLAs reached Delhi and as per sources are scheduled to meet BJP national president Amit Shah and national working presindent JP Nadda.
With 10 Congress MLAs joining hands with the BJP party, the strength of the Grand Old Party is reduced to five in the House. Currently, BJP is the single largest party with 17 MLAs in the 40-member Assembly, along with Goa Forward Party and Independents having three MLAs each, while one MLA each from NCP and MGP. After the 10 Congress MLAs merging with BJP, the strength of the saffron party has increased to 27 from 17.
(With PTI inputs)