Narayan Tripathy and Sharad Kol had declared their support to the MP government after voting in favour of a treasury bench-sponsored bill.
Bhopal: Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs who had jolted their party by backing the seven-month-old Congress-led government during voting on a bill in the Assembly on Wednesday recently were conspicuous by their absence at a BJP legislature party meeting convened here on Thursday.
The MLAs, Narayan Tripathy and Sharad Kol, who had declared their support to the Kamal Nath government openly after voting in favour of the treasury bench-sponsored bill in the recently-concluded budget session failed to turn up along with around at least half-a-dozen party legislators at the meeting, leaving the saffron outfit red-faced.
The meet was convened apparently to demonstrate unity among BJP legislators in the wake of the recent decision by the MLAs to back the Mr Nath in the ‘interest of development’ in their respective Assembly constituencies.
State BJP president and Lok Sabha member Rakesh Singh tried to put up a brave front, saying, “Those party MLAs who were absent in the meeting today had earlier informed me about their inability to turn up owing to their preoccupation.”
“Our legislature party is united like a rock. I have reports that Congress is offering a huge amount of money to some of our party MLAs to quit. But Congress will never succeed in their evil designs,” he added. His remarks come in the wake of assertion by state law minister P.C. Sharma that at least half-a-dozen BJP MLAs were in touch with Congress to switch sides.
“At least six BJP MLAs want to join the Congress. We are keeping a vigil on the intensifying factionalism in BJP in MP and will act at the appropriate time,” he indicated.
He, however, refused to identify the BJP MLAs in question, simply saying, “They are fence-sitters.”
The ruling Congress has a strength of 114 in 230-member MP Assembly, falling short of two MLAs to gain a majority on its own in the House. The party has come to power in MP with outside support from two BSP MLAs, an SP legislator and four Independents. The BJP currently has 108 MLAs.