In the midst of political chaos in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP will be seeing a floor test on March 16 as 22 Congress MLAs, siding with Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned from their post on Thursday. The 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led government has been facing a deep crisis following the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs after former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party on Tuesday.
"Since the government is in minority, we are going to request the governor and the Assembly Speaker for a floor test on March 16 when the state budget session begins," BJP's chief whip in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Narottam Mishra told reporters. The governor and the speaker have the resignations of 22 MLAs. Now it is up to them to take a call, he said.
"This government has lost the majority," senior BJP leader former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said. The Congress has a wafer-thin majority in the 228- member Assembly. Before the rebellion, its tally was 114. It also has the support of four Independents, two BSP MLAs and one from the SP, but some may now switch sides to the BJP.
If the resignations of the 22 MLAs are accepted, the strength of the Assembly will fall to 206. The Congress, on its own, will then be left with 92 seats, while the BJP has 107 seats with the magic number for a majority being 104.
The state assembly speaker N. P. Prajapati on Wednesday said that all the MLAs who have submitted their resignation will be first summoned and then he will make a decision on their resignation. Speaking to the media, he said, "I will decide on what to do next. As per the law, they will have to come personally, and then any kind of decision will be taken." When asked about whether MLAs who have given their resignation will be summoned or not, the Speaker stated that the MLAs will be 'definitely' summoned.
With the current halfway mark at 114 in the 228-MLA assembly, BJP currently holds 107 MLAs of its own. Congress which held 114 MLAs - has now been reduced to 92 MLAs. The resignation of 22 MLAs, would be down the halfway mark to 103. 4 more MLAs are poised to resign, as per sources. The Speaker is yet to accept any of these resignations.
Amid the political turmoil in Madhya Pradesh, former Guna MP, Jyotiraditya Scindia on March 11, ended his 18-year-old association with the Congress party to join the BJP. Soon after his induction in the BJP on March 11, Scindia was nominated as the Rajya Sabha candidate for the party from Madhya Pradesh. During his induction, Scindia lambasted his former party saying, "Congress party is not the same as it was before. Three reasons - they are not realising the fact, they are not ready to accept the new leadership and they are ignoring the young leaders." In addition, Scindia leveled corruption charges on the Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government. The former Guna MP announced his formal resignation from the party on March 10, however, Congress later cited it as an 'expulsion' from the party.
(with PTI inputs)