Bhopal: As the Congress accused the BJP of engineering a late-night coup in Madhya Pradesh by attempting to “poach” its MLAs, the loyalty of two BJP MLAs — Sharad Kol from Beohari and Narayan Tripathi from Maihar — is in question after they skipped a party meeting held in Bhopal on Tuesday.
While Tripathi is known to be a political turncoat — he switched from Samajwadi Party to Congress and later joined BJP — he has remained mum about his recent political plans. His name recently came up in the honey-trap scandal.
Kol joined the BJP after he was denied a ticket in the 2018 assembly polls. However, a video message released last week shows Kol lashing out against his party, accusing them of overlooking the Scheduled Caste community leaders in the party organisation. The BJP was quick to rebut the video, calling it doctored.
The MLAs had previously ditched their own party and voted in favour of Kamal Nath's government during a trust vote in the monsoon session of MP assembly last year. The BJP, however, had taken no action against the rebels.
Congress leaders, meanwhile, said several BJP MLAs were in contact with them during the crisis.
PC Sharma, the public relations minister of Kamal Nath government, on Wednesday accused the BJP of engaging in horse trading and claimed that they were disenchanting their own MLAs. He said party members were feeling side-lined as BJP was wooing opposition MLAs with money and ministerial berths.
“In the past, two BJP MLAs had backed us. In future, eight to ten more who are in touch with us could follow suit,” said Sharma.
The number game
The Madhya Pradesh assembly has 228 MLAs, with a majority of 114 Congress MLAs and 108 BJP MLAs. Four Independents, two BSP MLAs and an MLA of the Samajwadi Party are extending outside support to Kamal Nath government.