Bhopal: The Congress in Madhya Pradesh suffered yet another setback on Thursday after one more party MLA resigned from the Legislative Assembly, becoming the third legislator from the grand old party in the state to do so in less than two weeks.
Narayan Patel, who represented the Mandhata constituency in Khandwa district, tendered his resignation to Assembly pro-tem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma, who accepted it.
Talking to PTI on Thursday, Sharma said, "Yes, I have accepted the resignation of the MLA."
The pro-tem speaker said that Patel had met him on Wednesday to submit his resignation, but he gave the MLA time to once again think about his move.
He added that as Patel was firm on his decision, he finally accepted the resignation on Thursday.
With this, the Congress's strength in the House has come down to 89 now.
Last Friday, Congress MLA from Nepanagar seat in Burhanpur district, Sumitra Devi Kasdekar, had resigned from the assembly and joined the ruling BJP.
On July 12, another Congress MLA, Pradyuman Singh Lodhi, had resigned as a member of the Assembly. Lodhi, who represented Bada-Malhera constituency, had also joined the BJP.
With Patel's resignation, 27 out of 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh are now vacant, for which by-polls will have to be held.
The resignation of 25 MLAs and the death of two others earlier has brought the effective strength of the assembly down to 203.
In March this year, 22 rebel Congress MLAs, loyalists of former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, had resigned from the party, that led to the fall of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government in the state.
Following the rebellion of 22 MLAs, Kamal Nath had resigned as the chief minister on March 20, paving the way for the BJP to return to power.
On March 23, BJP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as chief minister for the record fourth term.
The ruling BJP has 107 MLAs. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has two legislators, Samajwadi Party one and four are independent.