Day before Madhya Pradesh floor test, Congress MLAs reach Bhopal
The ruling Congress in Madhya Pradesh shifted its MLAs back to Bhopal from Jaipur a day ahead of a floor test in the state Legislative Assembly. The Congress has accused the rival BJP of horse-trading MLAs to topple the MP government. The recent developments come after the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs in the state, which left the government on the brink of collapse.
Why is the Congress government in MP in peril?
Last week, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the party. In his resignation letter—dated March 9—Scindia stated that he could not serve the people of the state or the country while working with Congress. Thereafter, 22 MLAs, loyal to Scindia, also resigned. They included six state ministers: Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Dr. Prabhuram Choudhry, Imarti Devi, Pradyumna Singh Tomar, and Mahendra Singh Sisodia.
Scindia joined BJP; rebel MLAs herded in Bengaluru
Scindia joined the BJP. Out of the 22 rebel MLAs, 19 were camped at a Bengaluru resort in BJP-ruled Karnataka. The Congress accused the BJP of horse-trading and holding the MLAs captive. CM Nath on Friday requested Governor Lalji Tandon to order a floor test in the MP Assembly. Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati on Saturday accepted the resignations of the six rebel ministers.
Governor ordered floor test; said Congress may have lost majority
In a late-night order on Saturday, the Governor asked CM Nath to seek a trust vote on Monday, when the MP Legislative Assembly session begins. The Governor reportedly stated in his order that the exercise must not be "adjourned, delayed or suspended," ordering its completion on Monday. The Governor also mentioned that prima facie the Nath government seems to have lost majority.
Here's an excerpt from the Governor's letter
The Governor's letter read, "Prima facie, I believe that your government has lost the confidence of the House and it is in minority." It added, "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."
CM Nath to hold Cabinet meeting today
Ahead of the floor test, Congress MLAs camping in Jaipur were returned to Bhopal. CM Nath also held a Cabinet meeting on Sunday. Calling the political crisis a national issue, the Congress said it will approach the Supreme Court. The party said that two of its ministers—who went to the Bengaluru resort to meet the rebel MLAs—were assaulted and detained by the police.
Congress has the numbers: MLA Pradeep Jaiswal after Cabinet meeting
Will Congress government fall?
The Nath government initially had 120 MLAs in the 230-member MP Assembly. The majority mark was 116. With the six ministers' resignation accepted, the majority mark stands at 113. The Congress reportedly has the support of 115 MLAs. If resignations of all legislators are accepted, the majority mark would fall to 104, and the Congress would lose its majority. The BJP has 107 MLAs.