Dushyant Chautala writes to Haryana governor, seeks floor test after three Independents quit BJP government

Congress on Wednesday sought the imposition of President's Rule followed by fresh polls in Haryana after three Independent MLAs withdrew support to the BJP dispensation.
Former Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala
Former Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala (Photo | PTI)

Former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala has written to Governor Bandaru Dattatreya and sought a floor test after three Independent MLA's withdrew their support to the BJP government led by Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini.

The Congress on Wednesday sought the imposition of President's Rule followed by fresh polls in Haryana after three Independent MLAs withdrew support to the BJP dispensation, reducing the Nayab Singh Saini government to a minority in the state assembly.

Three Independent MLAs withdrew their support to the Saini government, reducing it to a minority in the state assembly.

They said they are now backing the Congress.

"It is evident that the BJP government in Haryana no longer commands a majority," former deputy chief minister and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader Chautala said in his letter to the governor on Wednesday.

However, Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini maintained that his government is not in trouble.

He told reporters in Karnal on Thursday that his government won a confidence vote in March and “if it comes to seeking the trust vote, I will do it again when the time comes”.

"You ask Dushaynt Chautala how many MLAs he has got," he said, challenging the claim that his government has lost the majority in the House.

His predecessor M L Khattar claimed that many MLAs are in touch with the BJP and there is "nothing to worry about".

In the letter, Chautala drew Dattatreya's attention to the “current political turmoil in the state” and urged him to direct the appropriate authority to immediately call for a floor test.

BJP's former ally JJP had told reporters on Wednesday that it is ready to help the Congress topple the government.

Independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri) and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) withdrew support to the ruling BJP in Haryana on Tuesday.

The 90-member Haryana assembly at present has an effective strength of 88 with Karnal and Rania assembly seats being vacant.

The BJP has 40 MLAs, the Congress 30 and the JJP 10.

The Indian National Lok Dal and Haryana Lokhit Party have one member.

There are six Independents.

Chautala wrote that after the Saini government demonstrated its majority in the Vidhan Sabha with the support of several Independent MLAs, Independent legislator Ranjit Singh Chautala resigned.

Given these developments, including the withdrawal of support by the three Independents, it is evident that the incumbent government no longer commands a majority in the assembly, Chautala said.

Referring to Article 174 of the Constitution, the JJP leader said that the article “confers upon the Governor the authority to summon, prorogue, and dissolve the legislative assembly”.

Chautala mentioned the landmark case S R Bommai case and said the Supreme Court had clarified the Governor's discretion in determining the majority of a government.

"The court emphasised that a Governor has a constitutional obligation to act judiciously and impartially in such matters and can call for a floor test to determine a government's majority," he said in the letter.

Considering the gravity of the current circumstances and the “urgent need to reinstate stability and uphold democratic norms in Haryana”, Chautala urged the Governor to invoke his constitutional prerogative as per Article 174.

Calling for an “immediate floor test”, the JJP leader said, if the government fails to do so, it is essential for the Governor to fulfil his constitutional duty by imposing President's Rule in the state.

“This action is imperative to ensure the continued governance of the state in accordance with constitutional norms," he mentioned.

On Wednesday, Chautala had urged the Congress to take steps to bring down the Saini government.

Currently, the Saini government has the support of two of the Independent legislators.

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