Bhopal: After former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the party on Tuesday afternoon, 22 MLAs loyal to him have also tendered their resignations, leaving the 15-month-old Madhya Pradesh Government on the brink of a collapse.
As of this moment, a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Central Election Committee is underway and a decision to induct Scindia into the party is likely to be announced after.
The 49-year-old took to Twitter to announce his resignation at 12:20 p.m. this afternoon, minutes after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. Interestingly, the resignation was dated March 9 and the Congress proceeded to expel Scindia from the party on charges of anti-party activities following his public resignation. According to sources, Scindia has been promised a Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh and a cabinet berth at the Centre.
According to PTI, 22 MLAs from Scindia's camp have quit the party – 19 of them sent in their resignations to Governor Lalji Tandon while three dispatched it to the Speaker directly. Six of the MLAs are Ministers and MP CM Kamal Nath wrote to Tandon seeking their immediate removal.
Sources claimed that Scindia was disappointed with the Congress leadership as he was refused a meeting with party president Sonia Gandhi for the past two weeks.
Scindia was eyeing a Rajya Sabha seat and the position of State Congress president after losing his traditional Shivpuri parliamentary seat in 2019 to the BJP. However, CM Kamal Nath and former CM Digvijay Singh were not agreeable to his demands.
The Congress, whose tally before the rebellion was 114, has a wafer-thin majority in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly whose current effective strength is 228. The Congress has the support of four Independents, two from the Bahujan Samaj Party and one Samajwadi Party MLA. Even with their support, Congress will fall sort of a majority, and it is unclear if those in support will continue to back the Congress or go with BJP. If the resignations of the 22 MLAs are accepted, the strength of the Assembly will fall to 206. The magic number for retaining the majority will then be 104. The Congress, however, will be left with 92 seats while the BJP will have 107 seats.
The 230-seater assembly has two vacant seats after the death of two MLAs of both the major parties.
Veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh targeted the BJP and claimed that the party is trying to sabotage the government and its leaders are indulge in horse trading. Talking to reporters in Bhopal he said, “We have evidence that BJP is trying to destabilise the Government and they poached our MLAs last week. And when they fail to do so, they lure Scindia to join the BJP.”
On other hand, BJP leader and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan claimed that the BJP has nothing to do with what is an internal fight within the Congress.
Total seats - 230
Other - 4
Vacant - 2 seats.
With PTI inputs