The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was adjourned till March 26, following an uproar by the MLAs of ruling Congress after Governor Lalji Tandon’s brief address. Tandon had yesterday asked Chief Minister Kamal Nath to prove his government’s majority after 22 MLAs sent their resignations from the assembly.
Chief whip of Congress legislature party, Govind Singh, spoke of the coronavirus outbreak in the Assembly after which Speaker NP Prajapati adjourned the House till March 26.
Earlier, reading a short statement on the first day of the budget session, the Governor had said, “Given the present situation in the state, it’s imperative on all to comply with rules and constitutional tradition with commitment so that Madhya Pradesh’s glory and constitutional traditions could be protected.”
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After the Governor left, the treasury benches rose and quoted the governor’s advice to the assembly and asked the opposition to respect the constitutional tradition. This led to uproarious scenes.
Leader of the Opposition Gopal Bhargava read out Tandon’s missive to Chief Minister Kamal Nath whereby the Governor had asked him to seek a trust vote immediately after his address.
Bhargava, along with former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and party leader Narottam Mishra, requested the Speaker to conduct a floor test as directed by the Governor. But the Speaker said, “Whatever correspondence has taken place is between you and the Governor, not with the Speaker.”
The state plunged into a political crisis after Jyotiraditya Scindia, a prominent face of the Congress, resigned from the party last week to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Scindia’s decision to leave the Congress was followed by the resignation of 22 party MLAs loyal to him. But Speaker NP Prajapati selectively accepted the resignations, hinting at intrigues in store.
Only six of the 22 Congress legislators’ resignations, sent through BJP members, have been accepted so far. Prajapati has been non-committal on ordering a floor test.
The BJP claims that the Congress, which had 114 MLAs in the House with an effective strength of 228, has been reduced to a minority government following the resignation of 22 of its legislators and demanded that a floor test should be held.
The Congress, meanwhile, said that it is not afraid of the floor test, but wants the Speaker to decide on it. The same was conveyed by Chief Minister Kamal Nath to the Governor during their midnight meeting on Sunday. “A floor test will be decided by the Speaker. The Speaker will discharge his duties and I will do mine,” Kamal Nath said after meeting Tandon.
The Congress has said that the crisis in the state is manufactured by the BJP. “We are not afraid of the floor test and are ready for it. Chief Minister Kamal Nath has said that we are ready for the floor test,” Madhya Pradesh Minister PC Sharma said ahead of the Assembly session on Monday.
The Congress has said it is the Speaker’s prerogative to decide about the proceedings of the House and the BJP maintained that the Speaker has to follow the Governor’s direction.