In midnight order, MP Governor asks Kamal Nath to seek trust vote on Monday
In a late night missive on Saturday, Madhya Pradesh governor Lalji Tandon directed chief minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote in the assembly on Monday, days after 22 Congress legislators resigned en masse bringing the state government to the precipice.
“I came to know that 22 MLAs have sent their resignations to the MP Assembly speaker and they have also informed about it on electronic and print media. I have seen the coverage on both media with attention,” the letter, dated March 14, said.
“They have also sent the letter to me separately on March 10, 2020 and the same MLAs have requested for security to present these resignation letters to the Vidhan Sabha speaker on March 13,” the governor said.
“Under Article 174 and 175(2) of the Constitution, I am empowered to direct that the 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,” he said in the letter.
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.
The governor’s letter made it clear that the trust vote must be completed on Monday and the exercise should not be “adjourned, delayed or suspended”.
The governor also mentioned in the letter that six ministers were removed from the Cabinet on Kamal Nath’s recommendations and their resignations accepted by the Speaker.
On Friday, Kamal Nath had met Governor Tandon at the Raj Bhavan requesting a floor test in the session beginning Monday.
In his letter, the CM alleged horse-trading of MLAs by the BJP and requested the governor to ensure ‘release of MLAs held in captivity in Bengaluru’.
“You (Nath) have also mentioned in your letter dated March 13, 2020, that you are ready for the floor test. I have also received a letter from the main opposition BJP about these situations. They have also pointed that the state government is putting unnecessary pressure on the MLAs who have resigned and also on other legislators,” the letter read.
“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,” it added.
The MLAs are currently housed in a Karnataka resort protected by state police in the outskirts of Bengaluru.
Speaker NP Prajapati’s decision yesterday to accept resignations of six Congress MLAs, who had earlier been sacked as ministers in the Kamal Nath government, has effectively reduced the strength of the 228-member house to 222.
Before the rebellion, Congress had 114 members of its own and the support of four Independents, along with two Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs and one from the Samajwadi Party. Two seats in the assembly are vacant.
The Madhya Pradesh crisis began soon after Jyotiraditya Scindia decided to end his 18-year-old association with the Congress and joined the BJP. A host of legislators decided to resign soon after in his support jolting the Congress to shore up numbers.
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