In a politically significant development in Rajasthan, all six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) on September 16 night gave a letter to the Assembly Speaker to merge the legislative party with the Indian National Congress.
"The BSP MLAs met me and handed their letter about this," Speaker C P Joshi told PTI.
MLAs Rajendra Singh Gudha, Jogendra Singh Awana, Wajib Ali, Lakhan Singh Meena, Sandeep Yadav and Deepchand said they were merging their legislative party with the Congress.
"All the six BSP MLAs were in constant touch with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and today they have came into the fold of the Congress," a Congress leader said.
The Rajasthan Assembly has 200 seats. The Congress has 100 MLAs and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has one MLA, giving it the majority to run the government. The Congress has also the outside support of 12 out of total 13 independent MLAs. Two seats are vacant.
In 2009, during Gehlot's earlier tenure, all the six BSP MLAs had also defected to Congress. That time, the government was five short of a clear majority.