Madhya Pradesh Floor Test LIVE Updates: The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was adjourned till March 26 today amid the demand by BJP MLAs to hold a floor test as directed by Governor Lalji Tandon. Just after the brief address of the governor, MLAs of the BJP raised the demand for a floor test, triggering an uproar. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Govind Singh raised the issue of coronavirus threat in the country and also mentioned the central government’s advisory, following which the Speaker accepted Singh’s plea and adjourned the House till March 26.
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath wrote a letter to Governor Lalji Tandon, saying a trust vote would be “undemocratic” as Congress MLAs were held captive by the BJP. The chief minister also said it did not lie within the domain of the Governor to interfere with the functions of the Speaker.
Nath had called on Tandon late last night amid the suspense over the floor test necessitated by the exit of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 other leaders that plunged the state government into crisis.
Coming out of the Raj Bhavan at around 12.20am, Nath told reporters that the governor had called him for a discussion. “The governor told me that the proceedings of the state assembly should be carried out smoothly. So I told him that I will talk to the speaker in this regard on Monday morning,” he said.
Asked if the floor test will be conducted on Monday as directed by the governor, the chief minister said the speaker will take a decision on this.
Nath said he has already communicated to the governor in writing that his government is ready for the floor test but the MLAs held “captive” should be released first.
After 22 Congress MLAs submitted their resignations last week, Tandon had on Saturday directed Nath to seek a trust vote just after his (governor’s) address on the first day of the Budget session beginning Monday.
In his order, the Governor said: “The Madhya Pradesh Assembly’s session will commence at 16 March, 2020, at 11 am, and after my address to the assembly, the first work to be conducted will be voting on trust vote.”
He added that the floor test will have to be completed on March 16 and the exercise cannot be “deferred, delayed or suspended”.
The Congress alleges that these 22 MLAs who submitted their resignations are being held “captive” by the BJP.
In a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah, Nath urged him to ensure the “release” of 22 Congress legislators he alleged were being held “captive” in Bengaluru.
“Please use your power as Union home minister so that 22 Congress MLAs held captive can safely reach Madhya Pradesh and participate in the Assembly session beginning from March 16 without any allurement and fear,” the four-page letter, shared by the Congress with the media, said.
Nath assured Shah in the letter that his Congress government in the state will provide excellent security to these 22 MLAs, if they are “released”, referring to the demand of CRPF cover for the legislators.
The CM added that on March 3, BSP MLA Rambai and his family members were freed from the “captivity” of BJP leaders in Gurugram (Haryana). Later, three Congress MLAs and an Independent were taken to Bengaluru by BJP MLA Arvind Singh Bhadoriya as was evident from the list of passengers of the charter plane, he alleged.
On March 9, 19 MLAs were taken to Bengaluru by BJP leaders by three charter planes, Nath claimed. Their “personal communication facilities” (mobile phones) were taken away and they were held captive and the Karnataka BJP is bearing the expenses of their stay in Bengaluru, he alleged.
“This is an unprecedented situation” because on the one hand the BJP is holding them captive and on the other hand it is demanding a floor test, Nath said, adding that a trust vote has no meaning in this situation.
“I am concerned about the safety of these MLAs and in my opinion, floor test in assembly is meaningless as 22 MLAs are being held captive,” Nath wrote.
Twenty-two Madhya Pradesh MLAs, supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia who left the Congress to join the BJP, have resigned, reducing the Kamal Nath-led government to minority in the Assembly.
Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati has accepted the resignations of six of these MLAs.