Ending the almost month-long political drama in Madhya Pradesh, the Kamal Nath Government resigned on Friday as it became clear the Congress would not be able to prove a majority in the Assembly.

The fate of the government was certain as Speaker NP Prajapati accepted the resignation of 22 rebel Congress MLAs. Accusing the BJP of trying to destabilise his government, Nath said he has decided to resign to preserve the democratic values. The Congress leadership also advised him to resign at the earliest.

The Supreme Court had directed the State Government to prove its majority in the Assembly on Friday.

“In my 40-year-long public life, I have always done politics of purity and valued democratic norms and given priority to it. But what transpired in the last two weeks is a new chapter of devaluation of democratic values,” Nath said in his resignation letter, addressed to Governor Lalji Tandon. The Governor accepted the resignation but asked Nath to continue till the next Chief Minister takes charge.

The BJP has started efforts to stake claim to form the next government. “Almost all Independent MLAs are with us. SP and BSP MLAs were already with us. They are not here but we have talked to them. They all want positive politics in the State,” BJP MLA Arvind Bhadoriya told reporters in Bhopal.

The strength of the 230-member Assembly came down to 206 (two seats are vacant) after the resignation of the 22 MLAs. The majority mark at present is 104. The Congress has 92 MLAs and the BJP 107. There are four independents. The BSP has two members and SP has one member in the Assembly.

After former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress, 22 MLAs loyal to him also resigned from the Assembly. After their resignations were accepted, the Congress tally fell to 92. The Congress failed to placate Scindia, who wanted a Rajya Sabha ticket. He rebelled with the 22 MLAs and joined the BJP, securing a Rajya Sabha ticket.