Madhya Pradesh: Fate of Congress govt hangs in balance, all eyes on Speaker

BHOPAL: The ball is in the court of Assembly Speaker. This was the general perception of constitutional experts in the city on the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh. The ruling Congress has been pushed to the brink of collapse following the resignation of 22 legislators close to Jyotiraditya Scindia, who crossed over to the BJP on Wednesday.

The legal experts told Free Press the Assembly Speaker has two options with regard to the Congress MLAs who have purportedly resigned from the membership of the Vidhan Sabha. He can either disqualify them under the anti-defection law or he can accept their resignations, they said. The total number of Vidhan Sabha seat is 230 in MP House, but it will reduce to 206 once the resignations of 22 MLAs are accepted.

In the 230-member House, the Congress has 114 MLAs and the BJP 107. But after resignations of 22 Congress legislators the count has come down to 92.

P K Mishra Advocate High Court, Jabalpur said, “In Karnataka, the Speaker had disqualified the MLAs. Later, the Supreme Court had held the disqualification ultra vires the Constitution. So, I think the Speaker would accept their resignations. Once that is done, both the parties will stake their claim for forming the government before the Governor. The Governor may invite either of them, depending on their relative strength. The new government will be asked to prove its majority on the floor of the House.”

“If it succeeds, it will continue, otherwise it will fall and the other party would be given a chance,” he added.

Mishra said by-elections will take place in the constituencies of the MLAs who resignations are accepted or who are disqualified. “If the composition of the House changes after the by-elections, the opposition party may again stake a claim to form the government,” the advocate said.

Vijay Chaudhary, president of district bar association, Bhopal said, “ There are too many things. As of now, the speaker has to take decision. First of all, either the speaker has to accept or reject the resignation of 22 MLAs. Everything will be clear after floor test.”

“Everything depends on the Speaker and the Governor. There are three vacancies for the Rajya Sabha from the state. In the current political situation, the Congress will win one and the BJP two. At present, the BJP has two seats and Congress one,” said Anil Bhargava, an advocate.