In a politically significant development in Rajasthan, all Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislative party merged with the ruling Congress. All six MLAs gave a letter to the state assembly speaker on Monday. These MLAs were so far supporting the Congress government from outside. MLAs Rajendra Singh Gudha (Udaipurwati), Jogendra Singh Awana (Nadbai), Wajib Ali (Nagar), Lakhan Singh Meena (Karauli), Sandeep Yadav (Tijara) and Deepchand (Kishangarhbas) said they were merging their legislative party with the Congress.
"The BSP MLAs met me and handed their letter about this," Speaker C P Joshi told PTI.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that it was decided in the interest of Rajasthan to take these MLAs into the fold of the Congress.
The Rajasthan Assembly has 200 seats. The Congress has 100 MLAs and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has one MLA, giving it the majority to run the government. So far, The Congress has also the outside support of 12 out of total 13 independent MLAs. Two seats are vacant.
In 2009, during Gehlot's earlier tenure, all the six BSP MLAs had also defected to Congress.
"We took a decision in order to fight against communal forces and to work for the development of the state and stability of the government. Ashok ji is the best Chief Minister and no one can be better than him for Rajasthan. I was impressed with his style of working and polity," Udaipurwati lawmaker Rajendra Gudd told ANI. Nadbai MLA Jogendra Singh Awana said that it was difficult for them to support Congress from outside.
"We have given our resignations letter and also met CP Joshi ji and Ashok ji today. There were several challenges in front of us. On one hand, we were supporting Congress for the development of the state and on the other, we were fighting against them in Parliamentary or upcoming Panchayat elections. We all gave a thought to it. We took a decision in favour of the state," he said.
(With Agency Inputs)