MP crisis: Congress MLAs return to Bhopal ahead of floor test
A day before the budget session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly begins, the Congress MLAs, who had been camping in Jaipur amid the political crisis being faced by the Kamal Nath government, returned to Bhopal on Sunday.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon had late Saturday night directed chief minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote in the Assembly on Monday.
Talking to PTI, a Congress MLA said the party legislators have returned to the state capital from Rajasthan.
'After landing at Bhopal airport, we are being taken to a hotel in buses. Instead of returning home, we will stay in Bhopal as the budget session of the Assembly will start on Monday,' the MLA said.
The Congress Legislature Party had on Saturday issued a whip, asking its MLAs to remain present during the Assembly session.
However, the BJP MLAs, who have been staying at a hotel in Haryana, have not returned to Bhopal so far. They had been flown to Haryana a few days ago.
Meanwhile, the Congress expressed confidence that it will prove its majority in the House, while the Opposition BJP claimed that the ruling dispensation has been reduced to minority as 22 of its MLAs have resigned.
'We are confident of proving our majority,' state public relations minister P. C. Sharma said.
He said although the governor has asked the Congress government to seek a trust vote after his (governor's) address in the assembly on Monday, the Speaker was empowered to decide about the proceedings of the House and he would take a call on it.
However, BJP chief whip in the Assembly, Narottam Mishra, said, 'The Congress has lost its majority. The governor is saying that was in minority. I am not saying this...it has been mentioned it the governor's letter sent to chief minister.'
The Kamal Nath-led government has been facing a deep crisis following the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs after former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party on Tuesday. A day later, Scindia joined the BJP.
On Saturday, the Speaker had accepted the resignations of six ministers, who are among the 22 rebel MLAs. With this, the strength of the House has come down to 222 and the majority mark is now 112.
However, the resignations of 16 other rebel legislators, have not been accepted so far.
The Congress now has a wafer-thin majority in the 222-member House.
The Congress's strength has now come down to 92, after its 22 legislators rebelled and resigned few days back. Before the rebellion, its tally was 114.
The Congress also has the support of four Independents, two BSP MLAs and one from the SP, but some may now switch sides to the BJP.
The BJP has 107 seats, just five short for the majority mark.