Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath defiant on floor test, Supreme Court says Governor within rights to ask for floor test, Speaker seeks 2 weeks’ time

19 March, 2020 | newsx bureau

Kamal Nath Madhya Pradesh (MP) Assembly Election Results 2018

The political drama following Jyotiraditya Scindia’s leaving the Congress for the BJP with 22 MLAs has brought the Kamal Nath government on the verge of being booted out. Speaker Prajapati had aske...

Beleaguered Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said he has the numbers and will not take a floor test. In a TV interview, he challenged the BJP to move a no-confidence motion against his government if they were confident of the end result. He claimed the rebel MLAs, currently in Bengaluru, will say whatever suits their present in this aspect. He maintained that his government will not fall in the TV interview. The Congress has maintained that the trust vote will have no bearing until the resignations of the MLAs are taken into account.
In almost an answer to the Madhya Pradesh Congress, the Supreme Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said Governor Lalji Tandon could ask the government to hold a trust vote when the assembly is not in session. This, the apex court said should be the case if the government has lost its majority on which the Governor is bound to take note of it.
Hearing the BJP request for a floor test immediately, the apex court said if the Governor canot ask the Speaker to hold the floor test that would allow a government in minority to continue.
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The Kamal Nath government has been in the doldrums ever since Gwalior royal Jyotiraditya Scindia switched loyalties to the BJP a day after Holi along with a 22-strong group of MLAs, who submitted their resignation last week.
Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati has not taken all the resignations and said barring 6 MLAs, he called on the rest to meet him and confirm their decision. The rebel MLAs have not taken up the Speaker’s demand since they claimed that the Kamal Nath-led government will coerce them into withdrawing their resignation. To prevent such forcing, the rebel MLAs have sought protection.
On Justice Chandrachud’s suggestion of holding such a meeting over video conference with a court-appointed observer, the Speaker sought 2 weeks to decide but reiterated through his counsel that the MLAs should return to the state. On hearing of the Speaker’s request for 2-weeks’ time, the SC judge said such a long time would enable horse-trading and would defeat efforts to prove the majority as soon as possible.
The current situation in Madhya Pradesh is such that the Congress has 108 MLAs without the 6 whose resignations have been accepted. The rebel 16 MLAs are also included in the 108 MLAs, the BJP has 107 MLAs.