Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati late night on Thursday accepted the resignations of the 16 rebel Congress MLAs’ who have been in Bengaluru since March 9, PTI reported. With this, and the Speaker’s acceptance of resignation of six former ministers – the effective strength of the House comes down to 206. The Kamal Nath-led Congress government will require the trust vote of 104 to survive the floor test later on Friday. The BJP with 107 MLAs is three more than the simple majority.
Prajapati accepted the resignations hours after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly by 5 pm on Friday, agreeing that political uncertainty over whether the Congress government enjoys the confidence of the House cannot go on for even another day.
“I have accepted the resignation of the 16 MLAs who have filed petition in the Supreme Court,” Prajapati told reporters. “Based on what they have stated there, I am accepting resignation of these 16 MLAs also.”
He also added that the legislature is following the judiciary, while the Constitution is silent, according to NDTV. Prajapati did not comment on the floor test to be conducted in the House.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Assembly’s Principal Secretary AP Singh told PTI that a special session of the house as per the directives of the Supreme Court will be held from 2 pm on Friday and will conclude by 5 pm.
Both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have both issued whips to its legislators to be present in the house and vote as per party lines in the floor test.
The story so far
Madhya Pradesh has been in a political crisis, with a collapse imminent for the Congress government, after 22 of its MLAs resigned last week following the resignation of senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. Scindia joined the BJP.
Governor Lalji Tandon had ordered the floor test after the 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”.
The BJP moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a floor test for the Kamal Nath government. A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta overrode the decision by the Speaker to adjourn the session to March 26. Justice Chandrachud remarked that a floor test was best before the politics got any murkier.
“The state of uncertainty in Madhya Pradesh must be effectively resolved by issuing a direction for convening a floor test… The session of the Legislative Assembly which has been deferred to March 26 shall be reconvened on March 20,” the court observed in a short order. It agreed with Governor Lalji Tandon that every day of delay in conducting the floor test would be a win for horse-trading.