The Asian Age

SC tells Nath: Face floor test by 5 pm today

Shivraj hints at new BJP govt in MP


The SC leaves it to the 16 rebel Congress MLAs, who hold the key to the survival of the Kamal Nath govt, to decide if they want to take part in the floor test or not

Delivering a jolt to the 15month-old Kamal Nath government, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed it to face a floor test by 5 pm on Friday and left it to the 16 rebel Congress MLAs, lodged in a resort in Bengaluru, to take a call on participat­ing in the trust vote.

Delivering its verdict on the vexed issue, a division bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachu­d and Hemant Gupta asked the Madhya Pradesh Assembly to reconvene for the trust vote and hold it by 5 pm on Friday. The Assembly had been adjourned on March 16 for 10 days “due to the coronaviru­s outbreak”.

The court held that the floor test should be decided by a show of hands by MLAs in the House and ordered that entire exercise to be videograph­ed to maintain transparen­cy.

While leaving it to the 16 rebel Congress MLAs, who hold the key to the survival of the Kamal Nath government, to decide if they would take part in the floor test or not, the bench directed the directors-general of police of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka to ensure their security if they wanted to come to the Assembly (to vote).

The verdict was on the lines of the recent directive by Madhya Pradesh Lalji Tandon to chief minister

◗ Kamal Nath to face a floor test in the Assembly to prove his majority after 22 Congress MLAs resigned recently.

The judgment, which followed a two-day hearing in the case, was billed to end the week-long political crisis in MP triggered by the resignatio­n of veteran leader Jyotiradit­ya Scindia from the Congress to join the BJP, and subsequent resignatio­n of 22 Congress legislator­s loyal to him.

Earlier, Assembly Speaker N.P. Prajapati in a petition filed in the Supreme Court sought two weeks’ time to take a decision on resignatio­n of the 16 rebel MLAs.

The bench, while disposing of the petition along with other applicatio­ns on the issue filed by ■

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Kamal Nath

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