Sixteen Madhya Pradesh rebel Congress legislators are waiting for the Supreme Court order on their joint petition before they plan their next move, a source said on Thursday.
“The 16 rebels have sought a direction from the Supreme Court to Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker N.P. Prajapati to accept their resignations from their Assembly segments,” the source told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Though a total of 22 rebel MLAs have resigned, the Speaker on March 14, only accepted the letters of six, who were also ministers.
They were taken off their posts by Governor Lalji Tandon on the recommendation of beleaguered Chief Minister Kamal Nath on March 10.
“The remaining 16 rebels have petitioned the apex court that the Speaker has not acted on their resignations yet though they submitted in the required format in Hindi and sent through an emissary, as they have been staying at a resort in the Karnataka city’s northern outskirts since March 9 of their own will,” the source pointed out.
The rebels, who owe allegiance to their leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP on March 11 after quitting the Congress on March 10, refused to not only withdraw their resignations, but also declined to meet the state’s senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday.
“The rebels’ contention is they would not budge from their decision to resign as they felt let down by Nath and the party leadership. They will fly to Bhopal to meet the Speaker if the apex court directs them to do so,” the source noted.
The rebels also clarified that they would not vote in the March 26 by-elections for 3 Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh as they have already resigned as legislators.
The top court’s Division Bench, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice Hemant Gupta have, however, refused to meet the rebels.
“The rebels have mentioned in their joint petition that they resigned voluntarily as the development of their assembly segments were ignored by Kamal Nath,” the source said, quoting one of the rebels.
The rebels also clarified to the top court that they were not held captive by anybody or any party and had flew to Bengaluru on March 9 on their own wish and have been staying at the resort voluntarily.
“The rebels’ lawyer (Maninder Singh) submitted before the court on Wednesday that it was wrong to allege that they were kidnapped and coerced to go to Bengaluru as they resigned on their own free will,” the source recalled.