Expressing the readiness of his government for a floor test in the Assembly, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday accused the BJP of holding 22 Congress MLAs in captivity. Nath said he will welcome a floor test in the assembly, whose budget session is beginning from March 16, on a date fixed by the speaker.
The chief minister submitted to the governor a three-page letter in which he accused the BJP of being involved in horse-trading and holding the rebel Congress MLAs in captivity. The opposition BJP has consistently denied the Congress charge of poaching MLAs to topple its government. The CM-Governor meeting at Raj Bhavan, which began around 11.00 am lasted for around half an hour.
"I have demanded that these MLAs be released immediately. Floor test can be held anytime," Nath told reporters after meeting Tandon.
BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia being felicitated by party leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan. PTI
Meanwhile, the governor during the day removed six ministers, supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia, on the recommendation of the chief minister. Amid the ongoing political crisis triggered by Scindia's exit from the Congress, 22 MLAs including six ministers resigned from the assembly, pushing the Nath government in a major crisis. Nath had, on March 10, written to Tandon seeking immediate removal of the six ministers.
Imarati Devi, Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Pradyumn Singh Tomar and Prabhuram Chaudhari were removed from the cabinet with immediate effect on Friday, said a Public Relations Department official.
MP's rebel MLAs drop plan to return to Bhopal
19 rebel Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh, including six ministers, on Friday, cancelled at the last minute their plan to return to Bhopal from Bengaluru, where they have been camping. As per the previous plan, most of the MLAs were scheduled to arrive in Bhopal by Friday evening. "The legislators had reached Bengaluru airport. However, at the last minute, they dropped the plan to return to Bhopal. They were told not to go to the Madhya Pradesh capital for security reasons as Congress workers have gathered outside the Bhopal airport holding sticks," Pankaj Chaturvedi, a loyalist of Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently quit Congress and joined the BJP was quoted as saying by PTI.
Meanwhile, the chief minister quipped during the day that the politics in Madhya Pradesh has been infected by the Coronavirus. "The coronavirus to yahan politics me hai...baad me dekha jayega (the coronavirus is here in politics... will see later)," Nath said when asked about the threat of the viral infection in Madhya Pradesh. The government, however, announced shutting down schools and colleges indefinitely in the state.