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Saturday 4 July 2020

Kamal Nath tries to save govt with coronavirus alibi; BJP drags him to court

If the speaker accepts all 22 resignations, INC will reduce to less than 104 MLAs, the majority mark; BJP, with 107, can form the government

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today slammed the Kamal Nath government for prevailing upon the speaker of Madhya Pradesh assembly to postpone the floor test for 10 days. “Coronavirus will not save the Kamal Nath government,” the BJP leader said, referring to the INC’s bid to buy time with the excuse that people should not gather at one place in these times of the coronavirus outbreak.

Yesterday

Earlier today, the party in opposition in Madhya Pradesh moved the Supreme Court, pleading with it to order the floor in 12 hours. The court will hear the plea on Tuesday.

The state assembly currently has 222 of 230 members. therefore, the majority mark is 112. As 22 MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the INC and joined the BJP last week, the days of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government, which had a wafer-thin majority in the assembly with the support of SP and BSP MLAs — who have since switched sides too — are numbered.

More so because Speaker NP Prajapati accepted the resignations of six ministers who are part of the 22 rebel MLAs. The MLAs now in support of the Kamal Nath government total 108 of the INC and seven of allies.

If the resignations of all the MLAs are accepted, the INC’s strength will reduce to below 104, the curtailed majority mark. The BJP, with 107 MLAs, can then form the government.

On Sunday, Governor Lalji Tandon had asked Speaker Prajapati to conduct the floor test on Monday while the INC said the governor had no right to order the assembly. After a post-midnight meeting with the governor, Kamal Nath said the speaker would decide on whether the trust vote would happen on Monday.

Curiously, the BJP has not yet formally brought in a no-confidence motion and neither has the Kamal Nath government listed in the assembly his will to conduct a trust vote. The governor addressed the house in brief and then the assembly was adjourned for 10 days. It will reopen before that only if the Supreme Court orders it to.

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