Madhya Pradesh Crisis LIVE Updates: Kamal Nath Resigns Hours Ahead of Trust Vote, All Eyes on Guv Office as Shivraj Singh Chouhan To Stake Claim
A BJP MLA, Sharad Kumar, has resigned just hours ahead of the trust vote, suggesting there could be a late twist in the tale as the Congress looked to make up lost numbers. The legislators of Madhya Pradesh assembly, through a show of hands, are to decide the fate of the government at 2pm today, a day after the Supreme Court set the deadline. The proceedings of the floor-test will be videographed and telecast live.
"The session of the MP Assembly that has been deferred shall be reconvened on March 20. A single agenda for the Assembly -- to hold floor test on March 20. Citing by show of hands," read a part of the order passed by the apex court.
A two-judge bench, led by Justice DY Chandrachud, asked the MP Assembly to reconvene for the trust vote after it was adjourned by Speaker NP Prajapati on March 16 citing the coronavirus outbreak.
The court said if the rebel MLAs want to come to the state Assembly, the Director Generals of Police of both Karnataka and MP should provide them security.
Hours later, Nath said his government will seek legal advice and study every aspect of the judgment. While the BJP publicly hailed the ruling, Nath in a tweet said, "We will study every aspect of the Supreme Court order, discuss it with our legal experts and take a decision on the basis of their advice."
The MP Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has issued a whip, asking all its MLAs to remain present in the Assembly on Friday and vote in favour of the government during the floor test. The three-line whip was issued by Congress's chief whip and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Govind Singh. The BJP too issued a whip to its MLAs.
Late last night, Speaker NP Prajapati accepted the resignation of the remaining 16 MLAs loyal to Scindia.
"I have accepted the resignation of the 16 MLAs who have filed petition in the Supreme Court. Based on what they have stated there, I am accepting resignation of these 16 MLAs also," Prajapati told reporters.
The Speaker had earlier accepted the resignations of six ministers who had resigned from their membership.
In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the actual strength of the house at present is 228 as two seats are lying vacant. With the resignation of 16 more MLAs, the strength of Congress has come down to 92 from 108.
Earlier, six ministers had resigned which brought down the ruling party's strength from 114 to 108. On the other hand, the BJP has 107 members in the House. However, the BJP had paraded 106 legislators before the governor on Monday as one of its MLAs, Narayan Tripathi, was absent and seen with the Congress legislators after the assembly proceedings.
The BSP has two members in the House while the SP has one besides four independents. All these MLAs -- BSP, SP and independents -- had extended their support to the Congress during the formation of the government in 2018. In the renewed situation, the majority mark is 104.