Ahead of trust vote in MP, Congress asks Governor to rescue its MLAs
The Congress insists that Governor Lalji Tandon must “rescue” its MLAs held “captive” by the BJP in Bengaluru.Updated: Mar 15, 2020 11:57 IST
The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Sunday backed Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s statement that the government was ready for a floor test but the Governor should first act to “rescue” the ruling party’s MLAs “held captive” in Bengaluru or some other place.
In a midnight missive to the CM, Governor Lalji Tandon had asked him to seek a trust vote in the state assembly on Monday.
State Congress spokesperson Abhay Dubey said, “Instead of making a partial reference to the chief minister’s letter to him, the Governor should act on his request to rescue the MLAs from captivity of the BJP leaders. How can a floor test be held when Congress MLAs have been held captive? Had they not been held captive they would have appeared before the Speaker when he sent notices to them to be present before him to explain their stand on their resignation letters which were handed over to him by BJP leaders.”
Dubey also pointed out that Chief Minister Nath in his letter to Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday made it clear that there was no meaning of a floor test till the 22 Congress MLAs were held captive by the BJP. “However, it’s unfortunate that the governor didn’t take cognizance of the CM’s submission and only mentioned about the resignation of the MLAs,” Dubey said.
The Congress spokesperson also said a Governor cannot decide upon the House proceedings. “It is for the Speaker to decide how to conduct the business of the House as per rules and procedure of the Assembly,” he said.
He said the Congress party continued to stick to its stand that for safeguarding the Constitution the MLAs held captive by the BJP should be rescued at the earliest. Meanwhile, about 80 Congress MLAs who were flown to Jaipur to prevent possible poaching by the BJP, returned to Bhopal Sunday morning to take part in Monday’s trust vote.
Kamal Nath in his letter to Shah had said, “There is no meaning of any demand for a floor test till the 22 MLAs of my party have been held captive. It’s an unprecedented situation that on one hand BJP is demanding a floor test but on the other hand they have held captive many Congress MLAs.”
“All the 22 MLAs are under the protection of Karnataka police. Madhya Pradesh BJP MLAs can be seen with the MLAs where they are staying in Bengaluru. It’s Karnataka BJP which is bearing all the expenses on the MLAs. But I have been informed that these MLAs have been deprived of all kinds of communication facilities and have been held captive. Their family members are not being allowed to meet them and two of our ministers were manhandled and arrested.”
The CM’s letter to the home minister came after a delegation of BJP leaders including former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, leader Opposition in state assembly Gopal Bhargava, chief whip of BJP legislature party Narottam Mishra and former ministers Bhupendra Singh and Rampal called on the Governor on Saturday and urged him to prevail over the government to face a floor test before any other business of the state assembly as 22 Congress MLAs have resigned and the government has been reduced to a minority.
Reacting on the governor’s letter to the CM state BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari said, “Governor’s letter to the CM has been written as per his constitutional duties. It’s for all to see that 22 Congress MLAs have resigned and they continue to stick to their stand. Hence, the government is minority. As only a political party enjoying majority in the House can run a government chief minister Kamal Nath himself should step down and tender his resignation to the governor.”
The Kamal Nath government plunged into a crisis on Tuesday as the 22 MLAs resigned after Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress to join the BJP.