Two BJP MLAs back Congress government in Madhya Pradesh ‘ghar wapsi’

Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol backed the Congress government during a vote in the Assembly.

In a major blow to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh two of its MLAs — Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol — on July 24 backed the Congress government during a vote in the Assembly.

Mr. Tripathi and Mr. Kol, both former Congressmen, said they supported the seven-month-old Kamal Nath-led government, which enjoys a slender majority in the house, as they wanted to develop their respective Assembly constituencies.

During the division of votes on the Criminal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill 2019, a total of 122 MLAs voted in favor of the Congress government, which assumed office in December 2018. In the 230-member house, the ruling Congress has the support of 121 MLAs, including Speaker N.P. Prajapati, who did not take part in the voting.

Besides the 120 MLAs of the Congress and its allies, two BJP MLAs also supported the bill.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr. Tripathi (elected from Maihar) and Mr. Kol (Beohari) said they extended support to the Nath government because they want to develop their constituencies.

The BJP MLAs said this was their ghar wapsi (homecoming).

Reacting to the voting, Mr. Nath said, “The BJP says daily that we are a minority government and one which could fall any day.”

“However, during voting in the Assembly on criminal law amendment bill, two BJP MLAs voted in favor of our government,” Mr. Nath said.

The development in Madhya Pradesh comes a day after the Congress-JD(S) government fell in Karnataka, where the BJP is looking to form its government.

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