‘Ghar wapsi’, say two BJP MLAs after cross-voting in Madhya Pradesh Assembly

The two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs in Madhya Pradesh who on Wednesday voted in favour of a bill brought by the Congress government have termed their decision as a ghar wapsi (homecoming). The two MLAs – Narayan Tripathi (Maihan seat) and Sharad Kol (Beohari seat), surprised the BJP by extending support to the Criminal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Tripathi had been a Congress lawmaker but he switched over to the BJP in 2014. In the Assembly polls held last year, he contested on a BJP ticketed and retained the Maihar seat. He was also a member of the Samajwadi Party in the past and used to head the partys Madhya Pradesh unit. Sharad Kol too said that it was his homecoming. He said that there is no place for a leader in the BJP who worked for any other political party in the past, adding that Chief Minister Kamal Nath is doing good works in the state. I have returned to my family. Under Chief Minister Kamal Naths leadership, my region will see rapid development, he said. Kol was also in Congress. But he quit the grand old party ahead of the assembly polls last year and joined the BJP after he was denied a ticket from the Beohari seat. The BJP fielded him from Beohari where he won. Kol is the son of Juglal Kol, a senior Congress leader from Shahdol district. It is believed that Chief Minister and Congress state unit chief Kamal Nath persuaded Jugal to ask his son to switch his loyalty. The two votes of Tripathi and Kol came just after Nath and the Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava exchange barb over the stability of the coalition government. Bhargava had claimed that the opposition could pull down the Congress government at any time if it receives orders from the leadership in Delhi. Nath then dared Bhargava to try a no confidence motion against his government if he was so confident. The BJP has been making such claims right from the day his government took office. Let me make it clear the Oppositions claims are bogus and our MLAs are not for sale, he said, adding that his government is for five years. Instead of this everyday clamour of keeping the minority government at its mercy the opposition should hold a no-trust vote right away. We are prepared for it, here and now. Is the Opposition ready? he asked. Later, PC Sharma, a minister in the Kamal Nath government, claimed that more BJP MLAs are in touch with the Congress. Several BJP MLAs are in touch with Chief Minister Kamal Nath. They are sitting on the fence. They may cross over to Congress by the next assembly session, he said.