Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who took oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for the fourth time on Monday, unanimously won the confidence motion in the Assembly, ANI reported on Tuesday. No Congress MLAs were present at the time of voting. MLAs from the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and independents voted in favour of the motion.
After his oath, Chouhan decided to prove his majority for which a special session of the state Assembly began on Tuesday. Three sittings will be held during the four-day session that will conclude on March 27. Apart from the trust vote, the new BJP government will also present vote on account for the financial year 2020-’21.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati resigned on “moral grounds” on Monday night, hours after Chouhan took oath as chief minister of the state. Prajapati, the Congress MLA from Gotegaon, was elected as the Speaker amid protests by the BJP in January last year after Nath became chief minister of the state.
The special Assembly session comes at a time when 37 of the 52 districts in the state are under lockdown and people have been asked to maintain social distancing due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Madhya Pradesh has seven coronavirus patients so far and no deaths have been reported from the state.
Chouhan said that his aim right now was to stop the spread of coronavirus. “As a BJP worker, I will work honestly for the development of Madhya Pradesh,” he told ANI. “But right now, the aim is to stop the spread of Covid-19. I have appealed to the party workers to not celebrate the oath-taking ceremony and not come out on the streets. They should stay at home and pray for the newly formed government.”
Chouhan took oath three days after Congress leader Kamal Nath stepped down from the post hours before his government was to face a floor test in the Assembly. Addressing a press conference, Nath had accused the BJP of being unable to tolerate his administration’s achievements, and accused the party of betraying the “public mandate”.
The Nath-led Congress government has been on the brink of a collapse since 22 of its MLAs resigned on March 10 after the resignation of senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who later joined the BJP. Following the Supreme Court’s deadline to conduct the floor test, Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati had on March 19 accepted the resignations of the 16 rebel Congress MLAs who have been in Bengaluru since March 9.