Jyotiraditya Scindia's exit from Congress with 21 MLAs has put the Kamal Nath government in crisis
Both Congress and the BJP are scrambling to guard their flock as the tussle over power in Madhya Pradesh rolled towards a show of strength in assembly. In a day of dramatic developments, Jyotiraditya Scindia exited the Congress and 21 MLAs supporting him sent in their resignation. Several leaders claimed that another five could resign soon.
If the resignation of the MLAs is accepted, the government will be reduced to minority and could topple. Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said Chief Minister Kamal Nath will not resign and prove his majority on the floor of the assembly. The Congress has claimed it has the numbers. Many of the MLAs who were shifted to Bengaluru, were ready to come back, the party claimed.
As the Congress scrambled to save its government, its leaders claiming that they have a strategy ready, sources said the BJP decided to shift its MLAs out of Bhopal. The destination could be a resort in Gurgaon near Delhi, sources said.
The Congress could shift its MLAs to Chhattisgarh or Rajasthan. At a meeting of the Congress legislature party this evening, the MLAs pressurised the Chief Minister to keep them together and give them an opportunity to bring back the MLAs who deserted the party.
In Bengaluru, Congress's troubleshooter in Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, claimed he was in touch with the rebel MLAs. "This may not even be a long drawn affair… they may return soon," Mr Shivakumar told NDTV.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath's government had 120 MLAs – just four over the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member Assembly. If the resignation of the 21 MLAs is accepted, the majority mark will slide to 104. The BJP will have 107 MLAs and the Congress 100, including support from the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and independents.