Written byShalini Ojha
During a hearing in the Supreme Court on the plea filed by BJP seeking a floor test in Madhya Pradesh immediately, Congress said the trust vote should be delayed till by-polls are held, a request that the saffron party opposed.
BJP contested that a party that has lost the majority can't remain in power for six more months.
Here's what went down.
Already having a wafer-thin majority, Chief Minister Kamal Nath's government's existence came under threat when 22 legislators resigned. Before them, Congress' star Jyotiraditya Scindia left the party to join BJP.
Nath got a breather on Monday when the Assembly was adjourned till March 26, without a floor test. However, BJP, which wants to test him, approached SC.
In 230-member Assembly, BJP has 107 MLAs.
Served notice by SC yesterday, Congress sent advocate Dushyant Dave as a representative. He said, "The MLAs must go back to the electorate and win an election again. Heavens aren't falling that Congress government must go immediately and Shivraj Singh Chouhan's government must be saddled on the people."
On this, Justice Hemant Gupta said that's what the rebel MLAs are doing precisely.
Supreme Court Justice Hemant Gupta, after hearing this, says, 'that's what they are doing. They are giving up on their membership and may go back again to voters.' (1/2) https://t.co/JLB7CgprKU— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2020
Congress told the bench, also including Justice DY Chandrachud, that its MLAs were kidnapped and asked, "Is this a democracy?"
Hitting back, BJP's counsel Mukul Rohatgi said Congress was delaying a trust vote deliberately as it knew it would fail.
Reminding of the 1975 Emergency, Rohatgi said Congress has no "legal right to remain in power" and that it was "hungry for power".
Claiming BJP had a role to play in the MLAs' resignations, Dave said, "Senior BJP leaders reached the residence of Speaker and handed over resignation letters. None of the MLAs were present. This demonstrates the complicity of BJP."
Separately, Rohatgi asked why does Congress want the rebel MLAs back in Bhopal.
"So that they can lure them, do horse-trading... Why do you (Congress) want to meet them (rebel MLAs) when they don't want to meet you?" he asked.
Meanwhile, Justice Chandrachud said the Speaker is duty-bound to conduct a probe into the resignations. Notably, the rebels have denied BJP's hand.
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