MP Cong MLAs may leave Bengaluru to attend House on Monday
As many as 19 MP rebel Congress MLAs are likely to return to Bhopal ahead of the floor test in the Assembly on Monday, according to a party leader here on Sunday.
"Our legislators are ready to leave for Bhopal, but are held up at another resort they were shifted to on Saturday night. They want to attend the Assembly session, beginning on Monday," the leader told IANS.
The rebels, including six former Ministers, have been staying at Prestige Goldshire resort on the city's northern outskirts near the airport since March 9. They tried to return to Bhopal on March 13, but could not as the flight was cancelled for unspecified reason.
"The MLAs are staying at a new resort (Ramada) in the city's northern suburb (Yelahanka). We don't know their travel plans. We have provided security as requested in a joint letter to the state DGP (Praveen Sood) on March 9," Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sharat Chandra told IANS.
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of holding the rebel lawmakers in captive, the party leader said a chartered aircraft was ready to fly them to Bhopal when they reach the airport.
"The MLAs wanted to go to Bhopal on Friday to meet Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati, who had summoned them, to convince him that their resignations were voluntary and not under pressure," said the leader.
If the Speaker accepts all 22 resignations, including that of three party MLAs in Bhopal, the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government will be reduced to minority as its strength will dwindle to 92 from 114.
In the 230-member MP Assembly, with two vacancies, the strength of the House will be 206 with 104 as the halfway mark for a simple majority, which will be an advantage to the BJP that has 107 members.
In that case, even with the support of 2 Samajwadi Party, one Bahujan Samaj Party and four independent MLAs, the Congress will be able muster only 97 members.
"Attempts are being made by the BJP to prevent the Congress MLAs from flying to Bhopal to ensure their absence in the Assembly on Monday. It will result in fall of the Nath government for lack of majority in the event of division of votes," Karnataka Congress leader Prakash Rathod told IANS.
The BJP is repeating the July 2019 Karnataka script, when 14 Congress and three Janata Dal MLAs resigned and abstained from the Assembly on July 23 when then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy went for the floor test and lost for want of simple majority, as the House strength was reduced to 208 from 225, including one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. IANS