A week before bye-polls in the state, Madhya Pradesh Congress on Sunday received yet another setback as the party’s Damoh MLA Rahul Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after resigning from the Assembly. The pro-tem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma said that Singh’s resignation has been accepted.

After this, Singh joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP President VD Sharma.

Singh became the 26th Congress MLA to have resigned since March and join the saffron party. In fact, the resignation of 22 MLAs led by Jyotiraditya Scindia led to the collapse of the Kamal Nath government in the state. With Singh’s resignation, Congress’ strength in the 230-member Assembly has now come down to 87, according to The Hindu.

‘Couldn’t work for people in Congress,’ says Singh

Speaking to reporters after joining BJP, Singh said that he could not work for the people while being a Congress MLA for the last 14 months, reported NDTV. “All the public welfare schemes in Damoh have been put on hold,” he added. “Today, I have joined BJP willingly. I am sure that Damoh will rise to touch great heights.”

He also said that the Madhya Pradesh chief minister had created a “positive atmosphere” in the state. Chouhan welcomed the legislator in the party, saying those who want to work for development are leaving Congress.

With 28 Assembly seats going to bye-polls on November 3, the BJP which currently has 107 MLAs, needs to win nine more seats to gain majority in the House. The Election Commission is yet to decide if bye-polls to the now vacated Damoh seat will also be held next month.