MP Assembly adjourned till March 26, no floor test today
BHOPAL: The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh scored a 10-day reprieve today as the assembly session was adjourned without any trust vote until March 26 over coronavirus, after a one-minute address by Governor Lalji Tandon.
The opposition BJP, which is confident it has the numbers to take power, paraded 106 MLAs before the Governor and accused the ruling Congress of stalling to cling to power. The Supreme Court will tomorrow take up the BJP MLAs’ petition asking for a test of strength within 12 hours.
Gopal Bhargav, Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly: State govt is running away from facing the floor test but it can’t be saved from collapsing as a good number of MLAs are against it. Govt has been defeated morally & the Chief Minister should resign on moral ground.
The Governor this morning walked out of the assembly amid slogans of “respect the house” after reading out only the last page of his address on the opening day of the budget session and urging the Congress to “follow the Constitution”.
“All must follow the rules under the Constitution so that dignity of Madhya Pradesh remains protected,” said the Governor, who had written to the Speaker to hold a test of strength today for the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government, which is in huge trouble after the rebellion of a group of MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The Congress, desperate for survival, has asked for the assembly to be suspended over coronavirus. Many of its MLAs entered the house wearing masks. Long after the Governor’s walkout, the MLAs of the government and the opposition BJP remained inside, shouting slogans at each other. As they walked out, the BJP MLAs sang: “Hum Honge Kaamyab…”
Kamal Nath has written to the Governor calling his letter directing a trust vote unconstitutional. “It does not lie within the domain of the Governor to interfere with the functions of the Speaker,” said the Chief Minister’s six-page letter.
The resignation of 22 Congress MLAs has brought the state government on the brink of collapse. The MLAs, who flew to Bengaluru in BJP-ruled Karnataka, are expected to follow Jyotiraditya Scindia into the BJP; the long-time Congress leader made the stunning switch last week, complaining that the party was “not what it was before”.
Only six of the 22 resignations have been accepted by the Speaker. The Congress claims the rebels have been kept captive in Bengaluru and is desperate for more time to establish contact with them and possibly, win them back.
In his letter, Mr Nath said to the Governor: “The Governor cannot require the Speaker to discharge his functions in the manner he considers constitutionally appropriate.”On the weekend, the Chief Minister even wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah requesting “help” to free the “kidnapped” MLAs.
The Madhya Pradesh assembly currently has 222 of 230 members and the majority mark is 112. The Congress has 108 MLAs in the House, and the support of seven allied legislators. If the resignations of all 22 MLAs are accepted, the Congress’s strength will come way below the new majority mark of 104, and the BJP, with 107 MLAs, can form government.
Kamal Nath’s government initially had 120 MLAs – just four over the majority mark of 116 in the full assembly. In case the government does not initiate a trust vote, the opposition can move a “no confidence motion” against the government.
(Bureau REport with Agency Inputs).