Resignations of six out of 22 rebel Cong MLAs accepted by Speaker, BJP demands trust vote

The resignations of six MLAs out of 22 rebel Congress legislators were accepted by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker on Saturday, even as the BJP claimed the Kamal Nath government has lost majority and demanded that a floor test be held before the Budget session starts on Monday.
These six MLAs were sacked from the Kamal Nath Government after they, alongwith 16 other legislators, resigned in support of Jyotiraditya Scindia who left the Congress and joined the BJP.
The Congress has, meanwhile, issued a whip to all its MLAs asking them to be present in the house from March 16 to April 13 during the Assembly session and vote in favour of the government.
‘I have accepted the resignation of Imarati Devi, Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Pradyumn Singh Tomar and Prabhuram Chaudhari,’ Speaker N P Prajapati told reporters.
With this, the strength of the house is down to 222, with the majority mark 112.
Before the rebellion early this week, the Congress’ tally was 114. It also had the support of four Independents, two BSP MLAs and one from the SP.
The resignations of its 16 rebel lawmakers, who are in Bengaluru, have not been accepted yet.
The BJP has 107 seats.
With his government teetering after the rebellion last Monday, Chief Minister Kamal Nath wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging him to ensure the “release” of Congress legislators who, he alleged, were held “captive” in Bengaluru.
“Please use your power as Union home minister so that 22 Congress MLAs held captive can safely reach Madhya Pradesh and participate in the Assembly session beginning from March 16 without any allurement and fear,” the four-page letter, shared by Congress spokesperson with the media, said.
The BJP too stepped up pressure as it submitted a memorandum to Governor Lalji Tandon, demanding that a floor test be held before the budget session, scheduled to begin from Monday, by division of votes and not through voice vote.
After meeting Tandon, BJP national vice president and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also said that the proceedings of the trust vote must be video-recorded.
“Our delegation has submitted a memorandum to the governor. Twenty two MLAs have resigned. They have cleared about their resignation by issuing the videos. Now, the Kamal Nath government is in minority and in this situation they have not constitutional rights to run the government,” Chouhan said.
“We have said that there is no meaning to Governor’s address (customary address before the beginning of Budget session), no meaning of budget session. So, before the budget session, there should be a floor test,’ he said.
Chouhan alleged that the Congress government in the state has been alluring, pressurising and threatening the relatives of the MLAs who have resigned.
New cases are being registered against the MLAs and their relatives and their properties are being damaged, he alleged ‘It is imperative in such a situation that the trust vote should be conducted in the house,’ he said.
Chouhan also alleged that Scindia was attacked on Friday. He said the rebel MLAs, who have quit, don’t want to return from Bengaluru without the security of central government forces ‘It could be conducted tomorrow (Sunday),’ he said when asked about the floor test.
Police on Saturday registered a case against around 35 unidentified persons in connection with the incident involving Scindia.
“A case against 30-35 unknown persons was registered under IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 147 (rioting) in connection with the incident that took place on Friday evening when Scindia’s motorcade was passing by the Kamla Park area,” an official of Shyamala Hills Police Station said.
Congress workers had waved black flags at Scindia in Kamla Park area of Bhopal, when he was on his way to the airport on Friday evening.