Congress government in Madhya pradesh on verge of collapse
Scindia, 22 of his supporters quit Assembly
Bhopal: Though Holi is a festival of colours, but the politics of Madhya Pradesh was all along sitting on a heap of firecrackers waiting for just a spark.
That spark was provided, and the fireworks have begun, triggering days of political uncertainty ahead. The protagonist calling the shots is prominent young leaders of the Congress, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is presently neither an MP nor even an MLA.
On Tuesday, Jyotiraditya Scindia along with 22 Congress legislators resigned from the party and is all set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party—an event that may pull down the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government in the state.
If the resignations are accepted, the effective strength of the MP Assembly will come down to 206, leaving the BJP with a slender majority beyond the halfway mark of 103 with its 107 MLAs.
At present, the Congress gets support from the seven MLAs of BSP, SP and four independents giving Kamal Nath government a narrow majority of six.
Jyotiraditya Scindia after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of Union Home Minister and former BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday resigned from the Congress.
A Congress leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 22 MLAs emailed their resignation letters to Speaker N P Prajapati. "I will look into the resignation letters as per the rules," the Speaker said.
One of the resignation letters reads: "I hereby resign from my position in the state Assembly with effect from March 10, 2020." All 22 letters appeared to be drafted in a similar fashion.
Assembly's principal secretary AP Singh said: "Since the Assembly office is closed on Tuesday due to Holi we will look into the resignation letters only on Wednesday."
An official from the MP Raj Bhavan said on condition of anonymity earlier that the resignations of 19 Congress MLAs were also addressed to Governor Lalji Tandon. It wasn't immediately clear if the three other resignation letters had also been received by the Raj Bhavan.
Seventeen of these MLAs include the six ministers who went incommunicado on Monday. They were said to have been flown to Bengaluru. Two other Congress MLAs were already in Bengaluru, according to people aware of the developments.
A delegation of BJP leaders led by the Leader Opposition, Gopal Bhargava, met the Speaker at his official residence in Bhopal on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan denied allegations of trying to destabilise the Kamal Nath government and added that the developments were "an internal matter of the Congress."
In a letter to the Governor earlier in the day, the Chief Minister recommended sacking from his Cabinet six ministers who resigned as MLAs. The Raj Bhavan official said the Governor was in his hometown, Lucknow, and was yet to take a decision on the CM's letter.
The ministers who turned in their resignation letters include Tulsi Silavat, Pradyumn Singh Tomar, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Govind Singh Rajput, Imarti Devi and Prabhuram Chauhdary.
Veteran Congress leader and MLA Bisahulal Singh also announced he was resigning from the Congress. He made the announcement in presence of BJP national vice-president Chouhan in Bhopal. The development came just days after Singh expressed faith in the leadership of Kamal Nath.
The Congress alleged that it was the result of poaching attempts by the BJP. Drama followed at a Gurugram resort and four of the 10 MLAs were later flown to Bengaluru. The remaining MLAs returned after two days. Of the four in Bengaluru, two returned to Bhopal later.