The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was on Monday adjourned till March 26, soon after the governor’s address.
This is in view of the coronavirus outbreak, which provided the much-needed breather to the crisis-hit Congress government.
However, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and nine other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs immediately moved Supreme Court, seeking the holding of a vote of confidence. Also, the BJP paraded its 106 MLAs to the Raj Bhavan, claiming it had the numbers. However, Maihar MLA Narayan Tripathi, who, in the Monsoon session, voted in favour of a Bill tabled by the Congress, was not part of it. Tripathi reportedly met chief minister Kamal Nath and was not seen with the BJP delegation.
Claiming that the government was in minority, Chouhan said, “The chief minister knows his government is in minority and that is why he didn’t heed the governor’s direction.”
Before the Assembly session began on Monday, the chief minister wrote a letter to governor Lalji Tandon to argue that the latter’s directive to hold a floor test was out of the purview of his constitutional rights. After the House was adjourned, Tandon wrote a letter to the chief minister requesting him to prove his majority by Tuesday. “Otherwise, it will be considered that you don’t have a majority in the Assembly,” he wrote.
“The BJP is trying to destabilise the elected Congress government of Madhya Pradesh by hook or by crook. The Speaker has the prerogative to decide proceedings in the House. BJP leaders met the governor and asked him to issue the letter which looks unconstitutional. The plan is to impose President’s Rule in the state,” said State Congress spokesperson Brijesh Pandey.
As soon as Tandon started addressing the House, Congress legislators raised slogans of “bring back Congress MLAs” to the Assembly.
As of Monday, 16 rebel Congress MLAs, reportedly pledging allegiance to Jyotiraditya Scindia, are still in a Bengaluru resort. They refused to come back to Bhopal, claiming they are not safe here. Earlier, Nath contended that there was no point of a test as long as the 16 MLAs were held “in captivity” by the BJP in Bengaluru.