The CM Kamal Nath-led Congress government stares at a possibility of collapse as Jyotiraditya Scindia walks out with nearly 22 MLAs, including six cabinet ministers. Scindia tendered his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday, who in turn expelled him for “anti-party activities”. The drama has been on for the past couple of days with both the Scindia and Nath camp trading barbs at each other.
So how do things progress from here? The question on everyone's mind is whether the Kamal Nath government survive? All comes down to the game of numbers and assembly arithmetic.
The Madhya Pradesh assembly has a strength of 230 members. Two members have died since the assembly elections of 2018, which has brought down the effective strength of the House to 228. That means, the magic number required to form a government is 115. Congress has 114 MLAs while the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has 109 legislators.
Congress had claimed the support of two Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs, along with one from Samajwadi Party and four independents after the 2018 elections to easily stitch up a majority. However, if the resignation of the 22 MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia is accepted by Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati, the overall strength of the assembly will fall to 209. This means a party or a coalition would have to muster the support of 105 members to form the government.
In such a scenario, Congress would be left with just 93 MLAs, while the BJP would still be having 109 members in the Assembly, a comfortable number to form a government. Even if Congress can manage to hold on to its SP, BSP and independents allies, it'll still fall short of the magic number. It is reported that one BSP MLA and the sole SP legislator are in the Scindia camp.
Hence, the BJP has a reason to smile and loads to gain from the mess. Scindia is set to join the party soon. If the resignations of rebels are accepted, then from that time to the bypolls on those seats, a BJP government will handle affairs in the state.
BJP leaders had submitted the resignation papers of 19 Congress MLAs to the Speaker. Noting this, Congress minister PC Sharma said their resignations are not valid until they present themselves before the Speaker in person. All eyes would be on Speaker NP Prajapati and his course of action on Wednesday.