Senior leader Jyotiraditya Schindia who resigned from the Congress on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday, and will be one of the two Rajya Sabha MPs of the BJP from Madhya Pradesh. He is also expected to get a ministry in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
Scindia had submitted his resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday saying he wanted to move on. He was once among Rahul Gandhi’s closest aides.
Jyotiraditya Schindia left the party with 21 Congress members of the legislative assembly that has put the Kamal Nath-led Congress government at the state close to losing power in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress had formed the government in the state just 15 months ago.
Schindia had taken a chartered flight to BJP-led Karnataka and could not be contacted by Congress leaders for two days. Some leaders said they had heard he was down with swine flu. But on Tuesday, Scindia called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, shortly after which he sent his resignation letter to the Congress chief.
On Wednesday, he said that the Congress is “no longer what it used to be, it is living in denial”. He also praised PM Modi.
Congress has 120 MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, four more than the majority 116 in the 230-seat assembly. With the resignation of 21 MLAs (an official acceptance of resignation is required), the number will fall to 104, risking the fall of the Congress government.
This has made both the BJP and the Congress move their MLAs to “safety” ahead of a possible floor test. The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, though, insisted that his party will prove majority.