The Asian Age

Congress, BJP spar over gov’s power


New Delhi, March 19: Madhya Pradesh Congress party and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday sparred over the role and powers of the governor in the Supreme Court which ordered floor test tomorrow on whether the Kamal Nath-led government enjoyed majority in the Assembly.

A battery of senior lawyers led by Kapil Sibal, A.M. Singhvi and Vivek Tankha, who represente­d chief minister Kamal Nath, Speaker N. P. Prajapati and the state government respective­ly, assailed thedirecti­ons of the governor ordering floor tests in view of tendering of resignatio­ns by 22 rebel MLAs.

They alleged that the governor has no authority to order when the Assembly is running.

On the other hand, Solcitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for governor Lalji Tandon and senior advocates Mukul

Rohatgi and Maninder Singh, representi­ng Chouhan and 16 rebel Congress MLAs respective­ly, strongly defended the governor’s direction.

Referring to various apex court judgements including in the S.R. Bommai’s case, Rohatgi said the governor has all the power to make a “tentative opinion” that the government has lost the majority after the resignatio­ns of MLAs and there was no infirmity if the government was asked to undertake the floor test.

Mr Singhvi said the day court begins to give timebound direction to the Speaker, it will be constituti­onally problemati­c. Mr Singhvi said the governor has limited power with regard to Assembly functionin­g.

Mr Mehta told the Bench that Mr Nath was “sitting aside” in the turn of events and it is the Speaker who is “leading political battle”.

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