Madhya Pradesh political crisis: Kamal Nath says BJP holding Congress MLAs in captivity, floor test not possible

By: |
March 16, 2020 4:17 PM

The Legislative Assembly was adjourned till March 26 on the first day of the Budget session on Monday amid the concern raised by the state government over coronavirus infection, without holding a floor test as demanded by the BJP.

Kamal Nath stated in his six-page letter to the Governor dated March 16 said some Congress MLAs are being held in captivity by the BJP with the help of the Karnataka Police.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Monday wrote to state Governor Lalji Tandon stating that holding of a floor test in the Assembly would have been “undemocratic and unconstitutional” in view of some MLAs of the Congress being held in “captivity” by the BJP with the help of the Karnataka Police.

The Legislative Assembly was adjourned till March 26 on the first day of the Budget session on Monday amid the concern raised by the state government over coronavirus infection, without holding a floor test as demanded by the BJP.

“I would like you to recall that when I met you on March 13, 2020, I had brought to your notice that the BJP has kept many Congress MLAs as captive under the control of Karnataka Police and they were forced to give different types of statements. I have clarified that in such a situation holding any floor test has no meaning and it will be undemocratic and unconstitutional,” Nath stated in his six-page letter dated March 16.

“The floor test will be meaningful only when all the MLAs are free from captivity and totally free from all kind of pressure,” he stated.

Tandon had on Saturday night directed the chief minister to hold a floor test on Monday in view of the resignations of 22 MLAs of the ruling Congress.

In his letter, the CM also referred to the Supreme Court judgement defining powers of a governor under Article 175 (2). Nath highlighted the judgement of the apex court in his letter.

“The governor must keep clear of any political horse-trading and even unsavoury political manipulations, irrespective of the degree of their ethical repulsiveness…” it stated.

Referring to the governor’s letter, Nath said he was “surprised” to know that Tandon believed that prima facie the state government had lost majority.

“It appears that you have mentioned so based on the information provided by the BJP. In this context legal provisions are clear that governor cannot take cognisance of any group separated from the main party,” it stated.

Nath also said that it is the prerogative of the speaker to oversee proceedings in the House.

“It was painful to know that the concern expressed by me on the possible bribing or luring by the BJP as I mentioned in my letter, but you have not stated anything about it in your letter. Besides, in the messages in the form of directions, you have expected from me to do things related to Assembly, which according to me is the prerogative of speaker,” he stated.

“I am hopeful and also believe that the Mahamahim (Governor) will perform his duties further as per law and Constitution,” he added.

Nath said on Sunday late night that he had already communicated to the governor in writing that his government is ready for the floor test but the MLAs held “captive” should be released first.

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