Published On: Mon, Mar 16th, 2020

Conduct floor test on Tuesday: MP Governor’s directive to CM Kamal Nath

Bhopal: Amid the political drama in Madhya Pradesh, Governor Lalji Tandon on Monday asked the Kamal Nath-led Congress government to face a floor test in the 230-member Assembly on Tuesday.

It is unfortunate that you did not try to hold the floor test in the prescribed time frame, which has no basis

Tandon’s fresh directive came two days after he first asked Chief Minister Kamal Nath to face a floor test on Monday, after the commencement of the Budget session of the Assembly.

However, the Governor’s directive went in vain as the House was adjourned till March 26 after the state government said that the legislature sessions in several other states were adjourned due to the coronavirus scare.

Tandon in his letter to Nath said that as he received the letter of the Chief Minister on March 14, it was not in accordance with parliamentary decorum.

“In my letter dated March 14, I had requested you to hold a floor test in the House on March 16. Today after I read my speech in the House, I did not find the proposal of holding the floor test and the House was adjourned till March 26,” he said.

The Governor in his letter also mentioned that the decision of the Supreme Court referred by the Chief Minister in his letter does not apply in the present scenario.

Tandon told the Chief Minister that “it is unfortunate that you did not try to hold the floor test in the prescribed time frame, which has no basis.”

“The reasons mentioned by you in the letter for not holding the floor test are baseless,” the Governor said.

“Thus I am requesting you to hold the floor test in the House on March 17 and prove majority, or it should be understood that you do not have majority in the House,” Tandon said.

Earlier in the day, shortly before the Governor was to start for the legislative assembly at 10.50 am, he received a letter from the Chief Minister calling his letter ordering a trust vote unconstitutional.

“It does not lie within the domain of the Governor to interfere with the functions of the Speaker,” Nath said. “The Governor is not a guide or advisor to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.”

“The Governor cannot expect the Speaker to act in a manner which the Governor thinks is constitutionally appropriate. Both the Governor and the Speaker have their own independent Constitutional responsibilities,” said the Chief Minister’s six-page letter.

There was speculation that the Governor could stay away from the proceedings. He sought advice from Constitutional experts and agreed to proceed. He delayed his departure for nine minutes to formally inaugurate the session at 11.10 am and returned to Raj Bhavan in 11 minutes without reading the full address.

Once the Speaker adjourned the House without conducting the floor test, 106 MLAs including Shivraj Singh Chouhan reached the Raj Bhavan and were paraded in front of the Governor. They complained about his directive not being followed.

The fresh letter by the Governor to hold a floor test in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly comes amid the political crisis in the state following the resignation by 22 Congress MLAs.

The Speaker had earlier accepted the resignation of six state ministers.

The 16-month-old Congress government in the state is facing a litmus state after the Congress MLAs owing allegiance to Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned after the Gwalior royal quit the Congress and joined the BJP on March 10.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition filed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan and others for an urgent floor test after Madhya Pradesh Speaker NP Prajapati adjourned the House till March 26, the day of the voting for the Rajya Sabha election.

Most of the 22 MLAs who have resigned from the Assembly represent seats in and around the Gwalior-Chambal region and swear allegiance to Scindia. They include Rajvardhan Singh, Hardeep Dang, Bisahulal Singh, Aidal Singh Kansana, Ranveer Jatav, Kamlesh Jatav, Raghuraj Kansana, Munnalal Goyal, OPS Bhadoriya, Giriraj Dandotiya, Brijendra Singh Yadav, Suresh Dhakad, Jajpal Singh ‘Jajji’, Manoj Chaudhary, Jasmant Jatav, Raksha Santram Sarauniya, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Tulsiram Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Imarti Devi, Prabhuram Chaudhary and Pradyumna Singh Tomar. Six of them have been sacked from the party.

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