'This is for the eighth time Narayan Tripathi has changed sides. He is exposed now,' said Congress leader said.
Satna/Bhopal: After two BJP MLAs this week voted in favour of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, several Congress MLAs are planning to register a protest against their entry into the ruling party.
On Wednesday, BJP MLAs Sharad Kol (Beohari) and Narayan Tripathi (Maihar) backed the seven-month-old Congress-led government during voting on a bill in the MP Assembly. Congress leaders termed Tripathi a "habitual turncoat".
"This is for the eighth time Narayan Tripathi has changed sides. He is exposed now. He had left the Congress only two days ahead of Lok Sabha elections in 2014," said Congress leader Shrikant Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi was defeated by Tripathi in the November 2018 Assembly elections.
"Tripathi has been a leader of different parties like Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party and BJP, besides Congress, which he had termed as his mother organisation when joining last time," he said.
Chaturvedi held a press conference in Maihar in Satna district along with a dozen party leaders and supporters, and said the Congress should take local leaders into confidence before allowing Tripathi into the fold.
"We respect our top leaders but we should be consulted before any decision about Tripathi," he said. Other Congress leaders, including Dharmesh Ghai and Shrinivas Urmalia, said Tripathi should be told to resign from the BJP and also as MLA before formally joining the Congress. They said they will convey their feelings to Nath in this regard.
Meanwhile, MP Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said any decision about the support of MLAs is the prerogative of Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
"As leader of the House, it is the CM's prerogative to take any decision in this regard. He took a suitable decision to strengthen the party," he said, adding it was an internal matter of the Congress.
Tripathi had quit the Congress in April 2014 to join the BJP. He was first elected as a Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Maihar in 2003, going on to fight on a Congress ticket in 2013.
In the 230-member Assembly, the ruling Congress, with 114 MLAs, has the support of another seven legislators, comprising four Independent legislators, two MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one from the Samajwadi Party.
The BJP had won 109 Assembly seats, but one of its MLAs subsequently resigned after getting elected to the Lok Sabha.