‘Will not take floor test’: CM Kamal Nath stays defiant as Madhya Pradesh crisis deepens

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Published: March 19, 2020 3:18:44 PM

The 15-month-old Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh was reduced to a minority last week after 22 of its MLAs resigned. All the 22 MLAs resigned immediately after Jyotiraditya Scindia's left the Congress and joined the BJP.

Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal claims he enjoys a comfortable majority in the House and that there was no need of a floor test.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday categorically said that he will not take a floor test inside the Legislative Assembly, a clear defiance of the directions of the Governor. Speaking to India Today, Nath blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for the current political crisis in the state and maintained that the Congress government enjoys a comfortable majority in the House.

“I will not at all undertake (the floor test). Why should I undertake this (floor test)? We have a comfortable majority,” he told the channel. “Is this a game, anyone will stand in any state and say you don’t have the majority and you should go for a floor test,” he opined.

Replying to a question that Governor Lalji Tandon has twice written to him asking to prove majority, he replied, “I know the law very well and also the rights of the Governor. The Governor saw this on television and heeded to the media reports. On what grounds the Governor said this?”

Nath also questioned the Governor for not asking the 16 rebel MLAs to appear before him in Bhopal. “Governor should ask them (rebel MLAs) to appear before him,” he said.

To a question that the Congress strategy now appears to have failed, he said, “My plan does not seem to have weakened. I know, the opposition BJP was trying this for the last 15 months. I was aware of all that.”

“They (MLAs) were threatened, forced…. why did they take (MLAs) to Bengaluru? What was the reason behind going to Bengaluru? Can someone tell this? They could have taken them to Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, in our neighbouring states. What was the reason and why they were taken to Karnataka?” he asked.

When asked Congress MLAs were sent to Jaipur soon after the rebellion against his government started brewing, he said, “Our MLAs went to Jaipur on their own… they have their phones, they roam freely throughout the day, there is no restriction on them. They visited temples, malls, markets… they were carrying their phones. Our MLAs going to Jaipur is different from locking down others in Bengaluru.”

Nath further claimed that he is in touch with many MLAs holed up in a hotel in Bengaluru and demanded their release from the BJP’s captivity. “I am in touch with many of them daily. The BJP is scared because many of them are in contact with me,” he said.

Nath then accused the BJP of seeking to destabilise non-BJP governments through lure of money. He said that when the rebel MLAs addressed the media and were asked whether they have quit the Congress, the MLAs didn’t answer.

“They all said we will not quit the Congress,” he said, adding that they all want to come to Bhopal. “That’s what we are saying.”

“The BJP was scared that the scams that took place in the 15 years will be unearthed during the Congress regime. The BJP was scared that the Congress government will expose nexus between the mafia and the 15 years of rules. The BJP plotted this all just save its leaders,” he said.

The 15-month-old Madhya Pradesh government was reduced to a minority last week after 22 of its MLAs resigned. All the 22 MLAs resigned immediately after Jyotiraditya Scindia’s left the Congress and joined the BJP.

The matter is currently pending before the Supreme Court. Senior BJP leader and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday approached the Supreme Court with a plea seeking a direction to the Kamal Nath government to undertake a floor test. Chouhan’s decision came in the wake of the Speaker’s Monday decision to adjourn the Legislative Assembly till March 26 without a trust vote. While the BJP has urged the court to order a floor test immediately, the Congress is seeking the return of rebel MLAs to Bhopal from Bengaluru. The Congress has alleged that its MLAs are being help hostage by the BJP in Bengaluru.

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