Scindia left Congress, his loyalists quit Nath's government
Nath's government in the central state faced an existential crisis after Jyotiraditya Scindia, a Congressman for nearly two decades, snapped ties with the party. 22 legislators also tendered their resignations, prompting BJP, which has 107 MLAs, to demand a floor test.
Last weekend, Governor Lalji Tandon ordered Nath to win the Assembly's trust on Monday but Speaker NP Prajapati took a lenient route.
Assembly was adjourned but Tandon insisted on floor test
Yesterday, when legislators met for the first day of the Budget Session, the Assembly was adjourned till March 26, in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
This gave Nath a 10-day breather, but Tandon, who had earlier suggested upholding MP's dignity, wrote another letter asking the CM to take floor test by today, failing which it will be assumed his government is in minority.
After Assembly was adjourned, BJP knocked on SC's doors
Moving fast, BJP approached SC seeking directions for Nath regarding the floor test.
The saffron party is confident it will gain from the test and reminded of what happened in Karnataka last year.
In the southern state, the coalition government of JD(S) and Congress crumbled after 17 legislators quit. After they were barred from contesting by-polls, they went to SC, which uplifted the ban.
BJP is hoping for a Karnataka 2.0
"In Karnataka, the Supreme Court upheld the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs but struck down the provision to bar them from contesting elections for six years (till 2023). If that scenario plays out here, it benefits the BJP," a senior BJP leader told HT.
Not held hostage: MLAs rejected Congress' claims
Meanwhile, the legislators who have resigned, and are camping in Bengaluru, rejected Congress' claims that they have been held "hostage".
"We are ready for any consequences," they said this morning, with one saying they got "freedom" now.
"Kamal Nath Ji never heard us even for 15 minutes. Then whom should we talk to for development work in our constituency?" MLA Govind Singh Rajput said.
Chouhan said even coronavirus can't save Nath's government
With BJP pushing for a floor test within 12 hours, Nath hurled a dare towards the opposition.
"Those who claim that we don't have a majority should move a no-confidence motion against my government to get the floor test done," Nath, who has been flashing victory signs to media quite frequently, said.