Madhya Pradesh Speaker NP Prajapati said he will go by the rules and meet the 21 rebel Congress MLAs, before he takes a call on their resignation. The Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists sent in their resignations on e-mail as the country celebrated holi yesterday, bringing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government on the brink of collapse.
"As per law, those resigning will have to first appear before the Speaker personally, after which only I'll look into available evidences/facts before deciding as per merits of the case," Mr Prajapati told reporters today. It is expected that the rebel MLAs will be asked to appear in batches before him over the next few days.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath wrote to the Governor yesterday, asking for the removal of six ministers, who are among the rebels. The governor is yet to take action on the matter.
Congress leader JP Dhanopiya said six separate petitions have also been submitted to Speaker for the disqualification of the ministers — Tulsi Silawat, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Imarti Devi, Govind Singh Rajput, Prabhuram Chaudhary and Pradumn Singh Tomar.
Most of the 21 MLAs had shifted to Bengaluru on Monday evening on a chartered flight, are still in the city. Sources, however, said a divide has emerged among them as Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress and is expected to join the BJP.
Reports suggest many of them have reservations about following him across the political divide.
Party's troubleshooter in Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, has claimed that most of the rebel MLAs will return to the fold and that he is in touch with them. "This may not even be a long drawn affair… they may return soon," Mr Shivakumar told NDTV yesterday.
The Congress has claimed that it will prove its strength on the floor of the house.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath has said he is confident his government will complete its term. "There is nothing to worry about. We will prove our majority," he said late on Tuesday evening.