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MP trust vote at 5 pm on Friday; BJP says Congress govt fall imminent

Shivraj Singh Chouhan moved the Supreme Court seeking an immediate floor test for the Kamal Nath-led government

BS Web Team & Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath
The 15 month old Kamal Nath government plunged into crisis after 22 rebel MLAs submitted resignations

The on Thursday ordered the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh to prove its majority in the Assembly by 5 pm on Friday.

"Voting will be by show of hands and the entire proceedings will be video graphed," a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said.

BJP leader had moved the court seeking an immediate floor test for the Kamal Nath-led Congress government.

The apex court had earlier noted that 16 rebel Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh can't be held captive, adding they can take a call on whether or not they want to proceed to the floor of the assembly. The court said it has to ensure there is a free exercise of choice that these 16 MLAs can make.

Meanwhile, BJP leader hailed the judgement on holding a floor test in the Madhya Pradesh assembly and said the Kamal Nath-led Congress government's fall is imminent.

"Truth has prevailed, attempts to lure away MLAs by all means proved futile," Chouhan said, reacting to the SC order.

"The government will not be able to clear the floor test. We have full faith that this government will fall in the floor test. It will make things crystal clear, the former chief minister added.

Chief Minister took to Twitter to give his response, saying his government will seek legal advice and study every aspect of the judgment on holding a floor test before taking a decision on it.

"We will study every aspect of the order, discuss it with our legal experts and take a decision on the basis of their advise," he said.

The Congress sought deferment of the trust vote in the Assembly till bypolls are conducted in vacant seats.

The numbers are stacked heavily against the Congress government which teetered to a brink of collapse after the resignations of the 22 rebel MLAs stated to be supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress in a coordinated revolt on March 10. Scindia later joined the BJP.

Resignations of six Congress MLAs, who are ministers, have been accepted by the Speaker, while a decision is pending on the remaining 16 legislators.

In the 230-member Assembly, the current strength of the Congress is 108 (resignations of 16 of its legislators are on hold).

If the resignations of the 16 Congress MLAs are accepted by the Speaker or if the legislators who are holed up in a resort in Bengaluru abstain during the floor test the ruling party's strength will reduce to 92.

The House strength will then reduce to 206 with 104 being the required majority for the Congress to win the floor test which is improbable given the current scenario.

The BSP has two MLAs, while the SP has one and there are four independents.

All the seven had extended their support to the Congress during the formation of the government in December 2018 but their backing will not be enough for the government to survive.

On the other hand, the opposition BJP has 107 members in the house.

First Published: Thu, March 19 2020. 18:48 IST