Months after Jyotiraditya Scindia quit Congress and toppled the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh, another young-turk of the grand old party has revolted, this time in Rajasthan.
The power tussle within the Rajasthan government turned into a full-blown crisis on Sunday after deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot threatened to exit the party claiming that he had the support of 30 Congress MLAs and Independents – enough to drive Congress out of power in the state.
With another Congress government on the verge of a potential collapse, here’s how the numbers look like in the assembly at present.
Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-member assembly which includes six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislators who had jumped ship to join the ruling party.
In addition to this, the grand old party has the support of 2 MLAs each of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) and one legislator of the Rashtriya Lok Dal. The party also enjoys the support of at least 10 Independents which takes its total strength to 122 members.
While Pilot claimed to have a support of 30 MLAs earlier, at least 102 MLAs turned up at a legislative party meeting called by chief minister Ashok Gehlot at his residence in Jaipur on Monday.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, has 72 members in the house and has the support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLAs, which leaves it 25 seats short of the majority-mark – 101 MLAs.
Amid the political turmoil in the state, Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar accused the BJP of trying to destabilise the Congress as part of their agenda, even as leaders from the saffron party blamed Congress leadership for the internal revolt from its own members.
Shivakumar expressed confidence that Pilot will not quit the party and called him a "sincere Congressman".