BHOPAL: Former Madhya Pradesh minister of state for urban development and housing and senior BJP MLA from Agar (SC) seat of Agar-Malwa district Manohar Untwal died at a hospital in Gurgaon on Thursday.
Untwal, 53, had been hospitalized after suffering a brain stroke on January 6 and died early on Thursday.
Untwal, who came from an RSS background, had represented the BJP four times in the Vidhan Sabha from Alot seat of native Ratlam district and Agar (SC) seat of Agar Malwa district in 1998, 2008, 2013 and 2018. He was also elected as the BJP MP from the Dewas-Shajapur Lok Sabha seat in 2014.
He had served as minister of state for urban development and housing in the second and penultimate tenure of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP regime in 2008.
With Untwal’s demise, the ruling Congress and opposition BJP have lost one legislator each in the last 40 days bringing the present strength of the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha to 228. Earlier, on December 21, first-time Congress MLA from Jaura seat of Morena district Banwari Lal Sharma had died due to cancer.
Following the death of the two legislators in the last 40 days, the ruling Congress has 114 members in the present Vidhan Sabha along with the support of seven allied MLAs, while the opposition BJP has 107 members.
In the full strength 230-member Vidhan Sabha, the Congress needs 116 members for a simple majority on its own. The ruling party now has an opportunity to get a simple majority on its own in the House by winning the two assembly bypolls.
On the other hand, the opposition BJP, which lost the Jhabua assembly seat to the Congress in the by-election held last year, too has an opportunity to improve its tally in the Vidhan Sabha by winning both seats.
Both Chief Minister Kamal Nath and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan condoled the BJP MLA's demise.