BHOPAL: In a significant political development which is bound to render a sigh of relief to the opposition BJP in Madhya Pradesh, one of the two saffron party MLAs Sharad Kol, who voted along with ruling Congress MLAs and allies in favour of a criminal law amendment bill in the Vidhan Sabha on July 24, said that he was still in the BJP.
Kol, the first-time BJP legislator from Beohari seat of Shahdol district (he had quit Congress to join BJP just a few weeks before the 2018 Assembly polls) made it clear on Wednesday that he was still very much a part of the BJP.
“The state government had introduced a bill against mob lynching in whose favour I voted, because my own party BJP too was supportive of the bill. My top priority is to develop my constituency with the help of the government, but this was wrongly publicised as though I had joined the Congress. But it’s totally wrong, as I haven’t quit the party and am still a BJP MLA only,” Kol said on Wednesday.
Kol, along with another BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi (who is a known political turncoat) had voted along with the 120 Congress, BSP, SP and independent MLAs in favour of the criminal law amendment bill on July 24 – the last day of monsoon session of MP Vidhan Sabha.
Importantly, BJP too was in favour of the bill, but wanted it to be passed with voice vote. Suddenly, one of the BSP MLAs Sanjeev Singh Kushwah demanded division of votes over the passage of the bill, catching the BJP by surprise. In the subsequent vote, the two BJP MLAs, Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voted along with the ruling coalition MLAs.
Subsequently, both the BJP MLAs, who have been with the Congress in the past, emerged along with CM Kamal Nath before the journalists and announced the development as home-coming on July 24.
Interestingly, contrary to Kol’s claims, the division of votes had not taken place in the Assembly on July 24 over the passage of mob lynching bill (which was being opposed by BJP), but had instead taken place on criminal law amendment bill, which was also supported by the BJP.
Owing to BJP’s stiff opposition, the bill against cow vigilantes (mob lynching) was referred to the Select Committee for further consideration.