Saturday, 11 July, 2020
National - 17 March, 2020

Supreme Court asks MP CM Kamal Nath to explain trust vote stand

The Supreme Court Tuesday asked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and the assembly secretary to explain their stance on the BJP plea for a floor test within 12 hours. The BJP had approached... #SCasksNathtoexplainstanceonfloortest

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and the assembly secretary to explain their stance on the BJP plea for a floor test within 12 hours. The BJP had approached the top court Monday after the assembly was adjourned yesterday for 10 days citing it as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

The Kamal Nath government, which is on the brink of collapse after the resignation by 22 MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia, has been delaying the trust vote, the BJP has contended. The Chief Minister, meanwhile, has written to Governor Lalji Tandon -- the fifth instance of communication between the two in the last 48 hours.

At today's hearing, the top court issued notices to the Chief Minister and the assembly secretary, saying it needed to know their views. The case will be heard again tomorrow by the bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud.

The top court has also allowed 16 rebel MLAs want to be party to the case. The MLAs have been at a resort in Bengaluru since last week, from where they sent in their resignation as Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the BJP. "I am not running away from the floor test, multiple times in the last 15 months I have proved the majority in the floor of the House," Kamal Nath told the Governor in his letter.

In his letter to Kamal Nath, the Governor had said: "If you don't take a floor test by March 17, it will be assumed that you have lost your majority." The Governor also called the Chief Minister's letter to him criticising him for asking the Speaker for a trust vote today as "meaningless, baseless" and against constitutional values.

Over the weekend, Governor Lalji Tandon had asked Speaker NP Prajapati to conduct the floor test on Monday - a suggestion the Congress contested, saying the Governor cannot give such orders to the assembly. The BJP, confident of forming government after the exit of 22 MLAs, have been pushing for an immediate floor test.

Yesterday, after the assembly was adjourned, the BJP's three-term chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "Even corona won't save Kamal Nath's government. He has clearly lost his majority, so he avoided a trust vote today". With the Speaker's acceptance of the resignations of six ministers among the 22 rebel MLAs, the Congress numbers have come down to 108. The party has the support of seven allied legislators.

If the resignations of all the MLAs are accepted, the Congress's strength will come way below the new majority mark of 104, and the BJP, with 107 MLAs, can form government. The Madhya Pradesh assembly currently has 222 of 230 members and the majority mark is 112.

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