BJP leaders met Madhya Pradesh Governor on Saturday and sought his direction to the Assembly Speaker and Assembly secretariat not to accept party MLA Sharad Kol's resignation which he had allegedly submitted under pressure.
Assembly Secretariat Principal Secretary AP Singh also met Governor Lalji Tandon later at night, Raj Bhawan sources said. What transpired during the meeting is yet to be ascertained.
In the evening, a delegation of BJP leaders, including former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava met Governor Lalji Tandon.
"Kol resigned under pressure (on March 6) but before it was accepted, he withdrew within the stipulated time. On
March 16, Kol, our tribal leader, went to the Assembly himself and withdrew the resignation," Chouhan told reporters.
"He went to the Governor's house too and stated that he had resigned under pressure and his resignation should not
be accepted. It is unfortunate that the Speaker who should be impartial is being partisan," Chouhan said.
"We have learnt that Speaker wants the Assembly secretariat's principal secretary to accept Kol's resignation
now," Bhargava said.
"As the Assembly is dormant now, the Speaker does not have such a power," Bhargava said, adding that he himself too
does not have powers of the Leader of Opposition now.
Kol told reporters that he was forced to write his resignation under the "administration's pressure".
"But I applied on March 12 through e-mail to Speaker and Assembly secretariat, saying I am withdrawing my resignation. I also tried to meet the speaker but he did not give me an appointment. I submitted an application to Assembly secretary on March 16 stating that I was withdrawing my resignation," he said.
On Friday, Speaker NP Prajapati had said that he had accepted Kol's resignation, but it could not be corroborated
from the Assembly secretariat.
Prajapati could not be contacted on Saturday despite repeated attempts, Singh too was unreachable.
The BJP's strength in the Assembly is 107 whereas that of the Congress is 92. As the saffron party is eyeing power
after the Congress government resigned, it does not want to lose a member.
The Assembly's strength was reduced to 206 after resignations of 22 Congress rebel MLAs were accepted.
Kol and another BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi had voted in favour of a Congress-sponsored bill last year, creating
speculation that they might switch sides.
During the latest political drama in the state this month which ended on Friday with chief minister Kamal Nath's
resignation, Kol and Tripathi had not revealed where their loyalty lay.