Kamal Nath forwards Madhya Pradesh governor's letter calling for floor test to Speaker, but terms directive 'unconstitutional'
Nath reiterated that 16 MLAs of the Congress are currently in 'captivity' of BJP leaders in Bengaluru either in a resort or hotel where nobody is allowed to meet them.
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday forwarded to Speaker of the Assembly a fresh directive given to him by state Governor Lalji Tandon on holding a floor test.
In his latest letter to the governor on Tuesday, the chief minister said, "Taking into account all the facts, I have forwarded your direction given to me to the Assembly Speaker for an appropriate action."
Nath and Tandon have been locked in a "letter war" since the governor directed the chief minister on Saturday to hold a floor test on 16 March. The floor test didn't take place as the Assembly was adjourned by the Speaker till 26 March on concerns over the coronavirus.
On Monday evening, Tandon wrote to Nath to hold a floor test on Tuesday, stating that the failure to do so will mean that the chief minister does not enjoy majority in the House. Nath said these directives were totally "baseless and unconstitutional".
"You have also mentioned in the letter that I have avoided holding a floor test in the Vidhan Sabha in the time-frame given by you, but I wish to bring to your kind notice that in the last 15 months I have proved my majority on the floor of the house many times.
"If the BJP is alleging that I don't have a majority in the Assembly then they should move a no-confidence motion to prove that," Nath stated.
The governor's direction to Nath to hold a floor test on 16 March came in the wake of resignations given by 22 MLAs of the ruling Congress last week.
However, the floor test was not conducted as Speaker NP Prajapati adjourned the House till March 26, after the government raised concerns over the coronavirus infection, which prompted BJP to move the Supreme Court for holding of immediate floor test.
Nath stated that he came to know that the BJP had submitted papers for bringing a no-confidence motion against his government, which are pending with the Speaker.
"The Speaker will act on it as per rules, and whenever it (the no-confidence motion) will be listed then automatically it will be proved on the floor of the House whether we have a majority or not," he stated.
The BJP, however, denied giving any notice to the Speaker for moving a no-confidence motion. Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava and BJP chief whip in the Assembly Narottam Mishra said no letter has been given by the party to the Speaker for moving a no-trust motion against the 15-month-old Congress government.
The chief minister reiterated that 16 MLAs of the Congress are currently in "captivity" of BJP leaders in Bengaluru either in a resort or hotel where nobody is allowed to meet them.
"They are prevented from coming to Bhopal while BJP leaders are freely meeting and contacting them and forcing them to give false statements in the media," it stated.
Nath also attached the complaint of the brother of Congress MLA Manoj Choudhary with his letter. The complainant had alleged that when the MLA's father went to meet him along with Congress ministers Jitu Patwari and Lakhan Singh Yadav in a Bengaluru hotel, they were physically prevented by staff and police, and detained.
"Let these MLAs move in a free and fair manner for 5-6 days after they come out of captivity to take a call on their decision independently," Nath stated.
Referring to Tandon's Monday directive, Nath said, "Your directive that I should prove my majority in the house by March 17 (Tuesday), failing which it will be construed that I don't have majority support, is totally baseless and unconstitutional".
"I also came to know that BJP leaders have filed a petition in the Supreme Court," he stated.
On the issue of not holding a floor test on Monday as directed by the governor, Nath referred to the health advisory of the Central government asking people to avoid gatherings and crowded places in view of novel coronavirus infection.
He also referred to the World Health Orgaisation (WHO) declaring the novel coronavirus a pandemic.
Referring to the governor's previous letter objecting the tone and tenor of Nath's missive, the latter said, "In my 40-year-long career, I have always maintained parliamentary traditions and followed them in the letter and spirit. It was not my intention and I regret for it".
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