PC Sharma, a minister in Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's cabinet, on Saturday performed a "shatru vinashak yagna" or a sacrificial ritual aimed at destroying "enemies", amid a political crisis looming over the state following the resignations of 22 Congress MLAs.
Mr Sharma performed the ritual at a temple in the Agar-Malwa district of the state. He, however, played down his taking part in the ritual.
"I am also the minister of religious affairs and spirituality department, so I had come to take stock of various government works for devotee welfare. We are at the Maa Baglamukhi Temple so there is no danger to our government. 121 Congress and allied MLAs are with us, and when the floor test is conducted in the assembly, we will see that four-five additional legislators will support us," he told NDTV.
On Friday, the 80-odd Congress and independent MLAs, including Home Minister Bala Bachchan, offered prayers at a famous temple in Sikar.
The Congress government had come in the way of trouble earlier this week after Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the party, and later joined the BJP. 22 MLAs, including six ministers, also put in their papers in an attempt to bring down the majority mark.
The Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker, Narmada Prasad Prajapati, on Saturday accepted resignations of the ministers. The decision brought down the majority mark in the House to 113, just two less than the number of MLAs supporting the Congress.
If the resignations of the remaining 16 MLAs are accepted, the BJP, with 107 MLAs, will become the single largest party in the state.
In a late night development, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon directed the Speaker to conduct the floor test on Monday.
"Madhya Pradesh Assembly's session will commence at 16 March, 2020 at 11 am, and after my address to the assembly, the first work to be conducted will be voting on trust vote," the Governor said in his order.