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Sunday 19 January 2020

Madhya Pradesh INC, allies to meet to ward off BJP threat

Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava and Madhya Pradesh BJP chief Rakesh Singh had already asked all its MLAs to be present in the House

Bhopal: The MLAs of the Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh are expected to meet on Wednesday, the third time in 11 days, to ensure the flock stays together in the wake of events in Karnataka and Goa.

While 16 Congress-JD(S) MLAs have submitted their resignations from the Assembly and two Independents have withdrawn support in Karnataka, putting the HD Kumaraswamy government in a bind, in Goa 10 Congress MLAs jumped ship and joined the BJP.

Sources said MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath is set to meet his MLAs, as well those from allies SP and BSP, and Independents over dinner to ensure they remain united during the division (voting) on financial matters when the monsoon session of the Assembly resumes Wednesday.

Such meetings have been held earlier on 7 July and 11 July, the latter attended by senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, as well, sources said.

“Yes, I have also been invited to the meeting on 17 July at the CM’s house. I am with the Congress and fully support Kamal Nath ji,” BSP MLA Ram Bai said on Sunday.

Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava and Madhya Pradesh BJP chief Rakesh Singh, in a meeting on 8 July, had already asked all its MLAs to be present in the House, a party leader said.

Bhargava had, in May, written a letter to the MP governor requesting a special session for the floor test of the government.

This was shortly after the BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls, winning 28 out of 29 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh.

Bhargava had said at the time that the BJP would seek division on financial matters.

The Congress has 114 MLAs in the 230-member House against the BJP’s 109 (one having resigned after winning the LS polls).

The Kamal Nath government is supported by two MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one from the Samajwadi Party.

The House has four Independent MLAs.

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