Computer Baba claims four BJP MLAs willing to switch to Congress, day after two legislators back Madhya Pradesh govt during voting for key Bill

Indore/Bhopal: A day after two BJP MLAs backed the Congress-led government in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, self-styled godman Computer Baba close to the ruling party on Thursday claimed that four more legislators of the saffron outfit are willing to switch loyalty.

Computer Baba aka Namdas Tyagi, who has been appointed chairman of a river conservation trust by the Kamal Nath-led Congress government, did not reveal the names of these four BJP MLAs, but asserted they are in touch with him.

On Wednesday, two BJP MLAs — Sharad Kol (Beohari) and Narayan Tripathi (Maihar) — backed the seven-month-old Nath government during voting on the Criminal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Assembly.

 Computer Baba claims four BJP MLAs willing to switch to Congress, day after two legislators back Madhya Pradesh govt during voting for key Bill

File image of Computer Baba. ANI

The BJP MLAs strayed from their party's position and cross-voted in favour of the government-sponsored bill, dealing a blow to the main opposition outfit which has often taunted the Congress dispensation of being in a "minority".

"Four BJP MLAs are in contact with me and they are keen on joining the Congress government in the state. I will present them before you (the media) when (Chief Minister) Kamal Nath asks me to do so," Computer Baba told reporters.

Despite repeated questions by reporters, he declined to divulge further details, saying, "You will get to know the names of these BJP MLAs at the right time."

"At this point of time, I can only say that like saints, these MLAs are also upset with the working style of the BJP," the self-styled godman said.

In March, the Congress government had appointed Computer Baba as chairman of the Ma Narmada, Ma Kshipra evam Ma Mandakini River Trust.

In 2018, Computer Baba was given minister of state (MoS) status by the previous BJP government. However, he resigned months later and campaigned against the BJP in the Assembly elections held in November 2018.

The polls saw the Congress coming to power in Madhya Pradesh afte a gap pf 15 years. During the Lok Sabha elections in April-May, he had campaigned for the Congress.

Computer Baba had held religious rituals in support of senior Congress leader and the party's candidate from Bhopal Digvijay Singh. However, Singh was defeated by BJP's Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in the prestigious seat.

Meanwhile, a state minister rubbished reports that security of the two BJP MLAs who backed the Nath government during the voting has been stepped up.

Public Relations Minister PC Sharma said the two MLAs have got only the "normal security" provided to every legislator. "No additional force has been deployed (for their security)," he said.

Deputy Inspector General Irshad Wali said the Bhopal police haven't received any directives to enhance the security of the two BJP MLAs. In the 230-member Assembly, the ruling Congress has the support of 121 MLAs.

The Congress has 114 MLAs — two short of the simple majority mark of 116 — and its government is being supported by four Independent legislators, two MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one from the Samajwadi Party.

The BJP had won 109 Assembly seats and one of its MLAs resigned after getting elected to the Lok Sabha.

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2019 23:09:11 IST