Madhya Pradesh Floor Test LIVE Updates: Have to Allay Apprehensions Rebel Congress MLAs are Not Held Captive, Says SC
The Congress has demanded that the rebel MLAs be asked to face the electorate again and win elections before a floor test is held to test the strength of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, meanwhile, sat on a protest after he was stopped from meeting the rebel MLAs lodged in Ramada hotel, hours ahead of the Supreme Court hearing a petition filed by the BJP seeking an immediate floor test of the Kamal Nath government.
The BJP claims that after the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 rebel MLAs, the government is in minority.
As the political tug-of-war in Madhya Pradesh continued, Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati wrote a letter to Governor Lalji Tandon, urging him to ensure the return of "missing" MLAs, whose resignations, he said, are under his consideration.
In the letter released to the media on Tuesday evening, Prajapati said doubts prevail whether these MLAs, who are currently in Bengaluru, resigned on their own volition.
Prajapati's missive is the latest edition in the "letter war" that is going on in the state between Tandon and Chief Minister Kamal Nath over the last few days.
The ruling Congress has claimed that some of its MLAs have been kept in "captivity" by the BJP in the Karnataka capital, a charge denied by the opposition party. In the wake of resignations, the BJP has asked the Nath government to seek a trust vote in the assembly.
In the letter, Prajapati stated, “I request you, being a working head and guardian of the state, to take solid steps in a bid to ensure the return of missing MLAs and to address the doubts of family members and acquaintances (of these MLAs).
Prajapati said no family member was present when the resignations of these MLAs were submitted to him.
"But, these legislators posted several videos on social media. This has raised doubts if these resignation letters were written under pressure.
"If these resignations were submitted voluntarily, why no family member was present during the submission," he asked.
Prajapati said he received the resignation letters of 16 Congress legislators by "other people" (other than their relatives or family members).
Prajapati said he had directed these MLAs to meet him in person, but they did not do so. They were also absent from the assembly whose budget session commenced on March 16.
After former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress, 22 MLAs of the ruling party, also submitted their resignations, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of a collapse.
Of these, the speaker has accepted the resignations of six MLAs.
These 22 rebel Congress MLAs on Tuesday morning held a press conference in Bengaluru claiming they had voluntarily submitted their resignation letters.
The Speaker’s letter came after the governor directed Nath two times since Saturday last to face trust vote in the house.
However, the chief minister, after meeting Tandon on Monday night, claimed his government enjoys majority and ruled out holding a floor test in the assembly.