The Congress on Sunday shifted its MLAs from a Jaipur resort to Bhopal ahead of the floor test to decide the fate of Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, PTI reported. The MLAs were lodged at the resort amid fears of poaching by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon announced late on Saturday that a trust vote will be held on Monday. Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati had earlier accepted the resignations of six rebel MLAs, who are in Bengaluru, after they failed to appear before him to attest to their resignations even after being given time to do so.
“After landing at Bhopal airport, we are being taken to a hotel in buses,” an MLA told PTI. “Instead of returning home, we will stay in Bhopal as the Budget Session of the Assembly will start on Monday.”
However, the BJP MLAs, who have been staying at a hotel in Haryana, have not returned to Bhopal so far. BJP chief whip in the Assembly, Narottam Mishra, said the Congress has lost its majority. “The governor is saying that Congress was in minority,” he added. “I am not saying this...it has been mentioned it the governor’s letter sent to chief minister.”
The Congress maintained that it will prove its majority in the House. “We are confident of proving our majority,” Public Relations Minister PC Sharma said.
Both the Congress and BJP have issued a whip to all its MLAs to be present in the House during the trust vote.
Until earlier this week, the state government, which was formed in late 2018, had the support of 121 MLAs in the 230-seat Assembly – 114 MLAs of the Congress, and the rest being from the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party and Independents. However, the resignations of as many as 22 Congress MLAs on Tuesday has made the government’s collapse imminent. The Bharatiya Janata Party has 107 MLAs, while two seats are vacant.
The MLAs resigned after long-time Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, whom they were loyal to, quit the party and joined BJP.
On Friday, Nath met the governor and told him that the BJP had indulged in “horse-trading” of legislators and had held 19 of them captive. He had also expressed readiness for a floor test. The BJP on Saturday urged the governor for an immediate floor test, claiming that the government was in a minority and attempting to stall the trust vote.