Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath during the budget session of state Assembly, in Bhopal on Monday.(Mujeeb Faruqui / HT Photo)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath during the budget session of state Assembly, in Bhopal on Monday.(Mujeeb Faruqui / HT Photo)

SC notice to Kamal Nath, Speaker over BJP’s Madhya Pradesh trust vote plea; hearing tomorrow

The Speaker had adjourned the Madhya Pradesh Assembly over coronavirus outbreak, thereby deferring the trust vote. The BJP then moved the Supreme Court against the move.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 17, 2020 12:51 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati and Chief Minister Kamal Nath on a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP has sought direction from the apex court for holding the trust vote in Madhya Pradesh, after the Speaker abruptly adjourned the Assembly for 10 days on Monday.

The matter will be heard by the bench of justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta at 10.30 am on Wednesday.

Prajapati had cited the outbreak of coronavirus as the official reason for adjourning the House till March 26, but the BJP immediately moved the Supreme Court after Monday’s development.

The petitioners - former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and nine other BJP leaders - said that they are approaching the apex court as the Speaker and Madhya Pradesh chief minister have violated the constitutional principles and have deliberately and wilfully defied the directions issued by Governor Lalji Tandon on March 14, requiring Kamal Nath to prove his majority on the floor of Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly.

The Assembly was adjourned shortly after the Governor’s address. The Governor later wrote a letter to Chief Minister Kamal Nath directing him to conduct the floor test on March 17.

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 accepted only six of the 22 resignations.

The BJP claims that the Congress 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.

Before the crisis, the Congress had 114 MLAs, and enjoyed the support of four independent legislators, two MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one legislator of the Samajwadi Party. The BJP has 107 MLAs.

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