JAIPUR — Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) suffered a jolt as all its 6 MLAs quit the party in Rajasthan on Monday to join Congress. The move by the BSP MLAs raises the strength of the Congress to 106 in the 200-member house in the state.
The BSP MLAs conveyed their decision to the state Assembly Speaker CP Joshi late on Monday night. In the letter to Joshi they informed that they are joining the Congress, which ousted the Bharatiya Janata Party in the desert state in the 2018 Assembly elections.
BSP chief Mayawati reacted to the development criticising Congress saying that the Congress had proved yet again it was an unreliable party.
The BSP MLAs who joined Congress are Joginder Singh Awana from the Nadbai Assembly constituency, Deep Chand from Kishangarh Bas, Rajendra Singh Gudha from Udaipurwati, Lakhan Singh from Karauli, Wajib Ali from Nagar and Sandeep Kumar from Tijara, according to media report.
The development has bolstered the Congress’s position in the Assembly. The Congress now has the support of 119 MLAs, including one of that of alliance partner Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD) and 12 of 13 independent MLAs in the Assembly.
“We have joined Congress for development in Rajasthan and in our constituencies. It was important for all of us to join Congress and a unanimous decision was taken. The BSP was extending its support to the Congress in the Assembly, but on the other hand was fighting in Lok Sabha elections,” said BSP MLA Joginder Singh Awana.
He added that they would contest upcoming local bodies and panchayat elections under the Congress.
All the six Bahujan Samaj Party legislators had also defected to Congress in 2009, during Ashok Gehlot’s earlier tenure. That time, the government was five short of a clear majority.