Leaders of the BJP on Sunday sought Madhya Pradesh governor Lalji Tandon's directions to the Assembly speaker that voting for a floor test on Monday be conducted by raising of hands.
In view of resignations of 22 MLAs of the Congress on Tuesday, the governor on Saturday late night directed Chief Minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote in the Assembly on March 16, the first day of the Budget session. The speaker has so far accepted resignations of six MLAs.
Talking to reporters here after meeting the governor, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava said they have demanded division of votes by raising hands since the electronic voting system in the Legislative Assembly was not operational.
"We came to know that the electronic voting system in the state Assembly is not functional. So we have urged the governor that the division of votes in the house should be carried out by raising hands," Bhargava said.
In his letter to Nath, the governor directed that the division of votes during the floor test should be conducted only by pressing the button (through the electronic voting system) and no other way.
When asked about this, State Assembly Secretariat's principal Secretary AP Singh said the Vidhan Sabha doesn't have the electronic voting system.
"We have a set procedure for conducting division of votes. As per the procedure, MLAs have to sign in a register placed in the lobby along with their names and constituencies.
They sign in two columns separately for those in favour and against," Singh explained.
In his letter to Nath, Tandon stated, "I came to know that 22 MLAs have sent their resignations to the MP Assembly speaker and they have also informed about it on electronic and print media. I have seen the coverage on both media."
"They have also sent the letter to me separately on March 10, 2020 and the same MLAs have requested for the central security to present these resignation letters to the Vidhan Sabha speaker on March 13," it stated. Under Article 174 and 175(2) of the Constitution, I am empowered to direct that MP Assembly session will begin on March 16 at 11 am with my address. Soon after that the only work to be done is voting on trust vote," the governor stated.
The Congres-led government in Madhya Pradesh was pushed to the brink on Tuesday when 22 MLAs resigned, immediately after senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party. He later joined the BJP.
The speaker has so far accepted resignations of six of the 22 MLAs, bringing down the effective strength of the House to 222 and the new majority mark at 112. The opposition BJP has 107 MLAs.
Before the political crisis, the Congress had 114 MLAs. The Kamal Nath government came to power in December, 2018 with the support of two MLAs of the BSP and one legislator of the SP.