The Congress on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and the Karnataka government to grant it access to its Madhya Pradesh MLAs, PTI reported. As many as 19 Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs are holed up in a hotel in Bengaluru, even as the state government teeters on the brink of collapse. Karnataka is a state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court issued a notice to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his government over a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party seeking an immediate floor test in the Assembly. The court will hear the matter on Wednesday at 10.30 am.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and nine other BJP MLAs sought that a vote of confidence be held in the Legislative Assembly against the Kamal Nath-led Congress government. They challenged the decision of the Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati to adjourn the floor test to March 26. The petition claimed that “horse-trading is at its peak” in the state and that the chief minister is trying to convert his minority government into majority by “possible threats, allurements” to the members.

The story so far

The demand for a floor test arose after Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress to join the BJP. Governor Lalji Tandon had ordered the floor test after at least 22 MLAs, loyal to Scindia, sent their resignations to him. However, the Assembly was on Monday adjourned without a floor test till March 26 as a preventive step to contain the coronavirus. In the evening though, the governor warned the chief minister that if the state government “fails to prove majority in the floor test on March 17, it would be deemed that your government is not in majority.”

Until early last week, the state government, which was formed in late 2018, had the support of 121 MLAs in the 230-seat Assembly – 114 MLAs of the Congress, and the rest being from the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and some Independents. However, the resignations of as many as 22 Congress MLAs on Tuesday have made the government’s collapse imminent. The BJP has 107 MLAs, while two seats are vacant.