Sunday, 05 July, 2020
Bhopal - 15 March, 2020

MP Assembly showdown likely as Speaker keeps up suspense, Governor writes to CM again

Political drama in Madhya Pradesh will shift to the Assembly on Monday after the Governor directed Chief Minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote and Speaker NP Prajapati said he will first give a ruling ... #MPassemblyshowdownlikely

Bhopal: Political drama in Madhya Pradesh will shift to the Assembly on Monday after the Governor directed Chief Minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote and Speaker NP Prajapati said he will first give a ruling on whether to hold the floor test.

Assembly business schedule for Monday, however, makes no mention of the floor test. It only mentions the Governor’s address and the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s address at 11 am. Experts, however, pointed out that items could be added to the list of business on Monday morning.

As the rebellion led by Jyotiraditya Scindia threatened the survival of its government, the Congress appeared keen on putting off the trust vote and asserted that it is the Speaker's prerogative to decide about the proceedings of the House, but a buoyed BJP maintained that he was bound by the governor's direction.

However, Chief Minister Kamal Nath, speaking to media, has claimed that his government was safe and that all Congress MLA are together. “The government is safe and would be so in the future.” he said. After the Speaker accepted the resignation of six Congress MLAs on Saturday, the party now has 108 legislators. These include 16 rebel legislators who have also put in their papers but their resignations are yet to be accepted.

The BJP has 107 seats in the House which now has an effective strength of 222, with the majority mark being 112. To add to the ruling Congress' woes, it is uncertain whether it will continue getting the support of four Independents, two BSP MLAs and one MLA from the SP.

The week-long political drama saw both the Congress and the BJP herding their MLAs to resorts outside the state due to fears of poaching. While the Congress MLAs returned on Sunday from Jaipur, the BJP too was bringing back its legislators from Haryana to attend the first day of the session on Monday. Both the parties have issued whips to their MLAs.

On Saturday night, Governor Lalji Tandon wrote to Kamal Nath asking him to seek a trust vote in the Assembly soon after the governor address on Monday, saying his government was in minority. Referring to resignations of 22 Congress MLAs, the Governor said: "Based on the above facts, prima facie, I believe that your government has lost the confidence of the House and it is in minority.

"This is a very serious issue and therefore as per the constitutional provisions and for protecting the democratic values, it is necessary that on March 16, soon after my address, you seek the trust vote in the Assembly. Under Article 174 and 175(2) of the Constitution, I am empowered to direct that MP Assembly session will begin on March 16 at 11 am with my address. Soon after that the only work to be done is voting on trust vote," the letter stated.

The governor also directed that the trust vote be held by division of votes and the process be recorded on video by the Vidhan Sabha through independent persons. He said it "must be completed under any circumstances on March 16, 2020 and it should not be adjourned, delayed or suspended". But the Assembly Speaker on Sunday remained non-committal over the trust vote.

“This will be known tomorrow... I will read out my ruling tomorrow," he told reporters when asked if the trust vote will be held on Monday. There were indications on Sunday that the beleaguered Congress government might seek to buy time from the Speaker to win back some of its 16 rebels MLAs.  (With PTI inputs)

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