BHOPAL: Hours after the state Assembly was adjourned without taking a trust vote, Governor Lalji Tandon directed Chief Minister Kamal Nath to hold the vote of confidence by Tuesday, failing which it would be understood that he doesn’t have majority in the Assembly.
The floor test was necessitated as 22 Congress lawmakers sought to vacate their Assembly seats, reducing the strength of the Kamal Nath government. Tandon’s missive came after the Speaker adjourned the House till March 26 citing the coronavirus outbreak, flouting the gubernatorial directive to the CM to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Monday.
Joining issue with the chief minister, the Governor wrote: “The tone and tenor of your (CM’s) letter which was in response to my March 14 letter isn’t in line with the constitutional practices and traditions... The Supreme Court rulings quoted by you... doesn’t apply in the present scenario. Whenever the majority of a government in the House is under question, then floor test is undisputedly the only test for majority, which has been established by various SC rulings in the past too.”
While the state government is yet to officially react to the fresh letter to the CM, sources within the government and the party told this newspaper that the government may move to the Supreme Court on Tuesday against the Governor.
For their part, the Opposition BJP led by former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan paraded 106 of its 107 MLAs before the Governor. The one who did not show up was Narayan Tripathi. He sought to support the Congress line that rebel Congress MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia had been held captive in Bengaluru.
ASSEMBLY’S CALL, SAYS SUBHASH KASHYAP
“The Governor is within his rights to send a message to the Assembly under Article 175 (2) on floor test. It is the Assembly’s call now. Speaker is only the representative of the House,” says Constitution expert Subhash Kashyap