Madhya Pradesh crisis: Kamal Nath announces resignation ahead of trust vote, another state slips out of Congress hand

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Updated: Mar 20, 2020 1:18 PM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath today resigned from the post. "I have decided to tender my resignation to the Governor today," he told reporters in Bhopal.

Kamal Nath resigns Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath resigns.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath today resigned from the post, hours ahead of the Supreme Court-directed floor test in the state assembly. Addressing a press conference ahead of the scheduled floor test at 2 PM, Nath said that the BJP had held the Congress MLAs captive and accused the saffron party of murder of democracy.

“The BJP thinks it will win by defeating me. They cannot weaken my resolve. I have always believed in values; the BJP won’t succeed. Irrespective of the post, we will continue to work for the people,” Nath told reporters in Bhopal.

“I have decided to tender my resignation to the Governor today,” he said.

Nath said that that BJP has betrayed public mandate and the saffron party always tried to destabilise the Congress government in the last 15 months.

“The treachery is not done with me but 7.5 crore people. The BJP has betrayed the public mandate,” he said, adding that the Congress government has done a lot for the farmers in the state.

He said the BJP has failed to defeat his morale and vowed to continue his work for the public. “We wanted to make Madhya Pradesh more attractive for investment. BJP was scared that it may not return to power again in Madhya Pradesh. They thought they win by playing politics. But they have not been able to defeat my morale,” he told reporters.

Nath also said that there have been no scam and corruption accusations against the Congress government in 15 months and the people state will give “us character certificate, we don’t want it from the BJP”.

Earlier this morning, Nath chaired a meeting of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Legislature Party (CLP) at his residence in Bhopal after it became certain that the numbers were clearly stacked against his government, which had been thrown into a minority following the exit of 22 MLAs believed to be loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The top court had on Thursday ordered the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker to conduct a floor test by 5 PM on Friday to end the week-long political uncertainty in the state following the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs. The Speaker said a day ahead of the floor test that the resignations of the 16 MLAs, which had been kept in abeyance, had been accepted. These MLAs are believed to be of Jyotiraditya Scindia’s camp who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on March 11.

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, which was accepted by Speaker last night, 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. In the renewed situation, the majority mark is 104. 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.

Madhya Pradesh becomes the second state to slip out of the Congress’ hand after Karnataka in July last year.

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