Hours after the BJP claimed that Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh wouldn’t last for more than a single day, two BJP MLAs in the state have been sent to an undisclosed location by the Congress party. Earlier in the day, these two BJP MLAs had cross-voted for Congress during voting on criminal law (amendment) in Madhya Pradesh assembly. This is a preemptive action taken by Congress in the state after it accused the BJP of orchestrating the fall of Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka.
Bhopal: The two BJP MLAs, Narayan Tripathi & Sharad Kaul, who voted in favour of Kamal Nath Govt during voting on criminal law(amendment) in Madhya Pradesh assembly today, have been sent to an undisclosed location by Congress. They will attend a dinner with CM Kamal Nath tonight. pic.twitter.com/1J30yv0zJF
— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2019
It is speculated that the two MLAs will join the Congress party soon. Both are scheduled to join chief minister Kamal Nath for dinner tonight. Narayan Tripathi is a former Congress leader who had joined BJP in 2014. He said that is his “ghar wapasi”.
Earlier today, BJP leader Gopal Bhargava claimed the government in Madhya Pradesh would fall in a day if number 1 and 2 issues an order. But the party had to face humiliation in the assembly as two of their own MLAs voted for the Congress government in assembly. The two BJP MLAs- Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kaul, who cross-voted in favour of Congress during the voting on the criminal law (amendment) in the assembly reasoned they were not treated respectfully in the party. Since then both have been sent to an undisclosed location by the Congress to keep BJP away from reconciling with these estranged lawmakers.
Meanwhile, CM Kamal Nath on Wednesday had thrown a gauntlet to the BJP to bring a no-trust motion in the assembly. Kamal Nath led-Congress has 114 MLAs in the 230 member Madhya Pradesh assembly while BJP has 109. 4 independent legislators, 2 from BSP and the lone SP lawmaker have also extended their support to the Congress party.
In a dramatic turn of events, Congress obtained the support of 122 MLAs during vote division on the amendment bill as two BJP MLAs abstained from voting today. BJP tried to say the two crossvotes do not matter because the party didn’t issue a whip.
The BJP concurred with the law minister PC Sharma in his proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act and extended its support for the same, BSP MLA Sanjiv Singh Sahu demanded the division of votes on the matter. The speaker announced the division of votes. Although the bill should have been passed with voice vote, division of vote was sought as a strategy to show that the government has the numbers in the backdrop of fall of Congress-JDS government fall in Karnataka. While the Congress MLAs went out to cast their votes, the BJP MLAs stayed behind in the house. The speaker then declared that 122 voted in favour of the bill while none voted against it.
Leader of Opposition, Bhargava complained that signatures of 12 absent MLAs were forged by the Congress ministers and refused to accept that the 2 BJP MLAs voted in their favour. The law minister PC Sharma asserted their government is stable and strong and that CM Kamal Nath is in touch with the BJP MLAs.
Former CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan later said the government was scared and therefore, consciously tried to showcase its strength through vote division. “It was a rare occasion when both ruling party and opposition backed a bill, but still vote division was done,” said Chouhan. He further added that BJP has maintained the government in Madhya Pradesh would fall on its own. He also alleged that adding the vote division was done to avoid discussion on farmers’ issue.
This development comes a day after the coalition government of Janta Dal (Secular) and Congress, led by CM HD Kumaraswamy officially collapsed.