Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava and BJP leaders Narottam Mishra, Bhupendra Singh and Rampal Singh met Governor Lalji Tandon on Saturday, after which Chouhan said the party told the governor that the Kamal Nath government had lost majority and that they did not have the constitutional right to run the government. He said the governor’s address and the budget session on 16 March had been rendered meaningless. “We demanded of the governor that he direct the government to obtain a trust vote under Article 175,” Chouhan said.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath met the governor too. He said after the meeting, “I am ready for the floor test, but first let the MLAs be free.”
In the midst of the struggle for power in Madhya Pradesh, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly NP Prajapati has accepted the resignations of all the six rebel ministers. These ministers had been dismissed from the cabinet on Friday. The speaker said this evening, “The matter with some MLAs are serious, I will make a decision on them soon.”
With the resignation of the ministers, the number of members in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly has come down to 222. Ministers whose resignations were accepted are Imrati Devi, Tulsi Silavat, Pradyuman Singh Tomar, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, Govind Singh Rajput and Prabhuram Chaudhary.
The Indian National Congress (INC) has issued a whip for its MLAs for the assembly session starting on 16 March.
In the afternoon, Speaker Prajapati had indicated action against some rebel MLAs. The speaker served notices to these MLAs again and asked them to appear by 15 March. The speaker said that the MLAs were bound by the rule procedures. “I am waiting to meet the MLAs who have resigned,” he said.
Even after the holiday on Saturday, he was present in the assembly with the officials. Prajapati will wait for the MLAs on Sunday again. He indicated action on two or three MLAs. He said, “I will decide whether to keep or remove them.” He did not name the MLAs.
Earlier, Prajapati had called all 22 MLAs on three different dates. These MLAs have time till 5 PM on 15 March to meet the speaker.
The Kamal Nath government is tight-lipped on whether it will postpone the floor test if all the MLAs do not appear before the speaker. The government may alternatively move the Supreme Court. According to the rule, all legislators are required to appear before the speaker in situations where the government may or may not pass the floor test.
INC not ceding ground to BJP easily
The Madhya Pradesh Congress has called a meeting of the legislature party on Sunday, in which the strategy of saving the government will be discussed. INC MLAs stationed in Jaipur will return to Bhopal on Sunday morning.
A meeting of the INC legislature party to be held on Sunday has been convened. All the MLAs have been instructed to join it. All the MLAs staying in Jaipur will reach Bhopal on Sunday morning. The strategy of saving the government will be discussed in this meeting.
On Saturday, party general secretary Harish Rawat held discussions with INC MLAs staying at the resort in Jaipur.
MP MLAs in Bengaluru under pressure: INC
INC politicians claimed on Saturday that the MLAs taken to Bengaluru were under pressure. Many of those MLAs will not resign after coming to Bhopal. Ramnivas Rawat, close to Jyotiraditya Scindia, said. He added, “I was a Congressman and will remain a Congressman.” The MLAs are held hostage in Bengaluru. When they reach Bhopal, they will not resign, he claimed.”
Rawat said, “We have not left Scindia ji, Scindia ji has left us. The BJP gave him the title of Vibhishan to welcome him in Bhopal. Now, whether the context is right or wrong, in our country, no parent names their children.”
22 MLAs had resigned in support of Scindia
The 19 INC MLAs at the resort in Bengaluru and later three more MLAs have sent their resignations to the speaker. Six of the MLAs were to come to Bhopal on Friday after the assembly speaker issued a notice, but after waiting all day, they came to the last chance.
BJP president JP Nadda went to meet the MLAs in Bengaluru. They had been in touch with Nadda for the past few days.
On 12 March, Madhya Pradesh minister Jeetu Patwari reached Bengaluru to meet the legislators, but he was not allowed to meet them.
On Friday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Govind Singh demanded a detailed inquiry into the resignations of the 19 MLAs from the speaker. He said that these MLAs should be called before the speaker and it should be investigated under what circumstances they had resigned. “If it is not given voluntarily, their membership should be cancelled.” Singh said further that the MLAs who had resigned were “misguided”.