MP Political Crisis: On March 16, the budget session of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly began with the Governor’s address. However, the address was nominal. The House was then adjourned till 26 March. The Speaker has adjourned the House for ten days, calling for the defense of the Corona infection. However, this has not ended the political crisis of Madhya Pradesh. The rebel faction of the Congress, which is currently in Karnataka, did not participate in the proceedings of the House. But the faction of BJP MLAs who had been in Gurugram hotel for the last few days was present in the House. More than 80 Congress MLAs also returned from Jaipur.
Bhopal: Former #MadhyaPradesh CM and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan along with party MLAs arrive at Raj Bhavan; BJP has filed a petition in SC seeking floor test in MP Assembly. The State Assembly is adjourned till 26th March, in view of Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/FR3w8DbvZp
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On Saturday, Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati accepted the resignations of six rebel Congress MLAs. All these MLAs are considered supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia. The remaining 16 rebel MLAs have also demanded the Speaker to accept his resignation.
Governor Lalji Tandon wrote a letter to Chief Minister Kamal Nath asking him to conduct a strength test after the address on 16 March. However, the Speaker adjourned the house for ten days.
Government involved in legal complexities:
At present, the Madhya Pradesh government has got entangled in the legal complexities due to the revolt of its own legislators. The government and the Speaker could not force him to appear in the Assembly. This was also not possible because there is no legal provision to do so. When such a situation was created in Karnataka in July 2019, the then state government went to the Supreme Court, but the court said that there is no such provision in the existing law.
What options does the Speaker have now:
The 16 Congress MLAs who have sent their resignations again have to take a decision on Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati. In the Pratap Gowda Patil v. Government of Karnataka case of Karnataka, the Supreme Court had directed that the Speaker should check his validity within seven days of the resignation, if he is right, he may approve, otherwise, it can be dismissed.
What if the resignation of the remaining 16 MLAs is accepted:
If the resignation of the remaining 16 MLAs of the Congress is accepted, their membership will end and with this, the number of Congress MLAs in the Assembly will be reduced by a majority. If this happens, the number of Congress MLAs will be 92. The majority figure in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly with 230 members is 116. After the resignation of six MLAs, the figure has come down to 112. If the resignation of 16 MLAs is accepted, then this figure will be 104.
It is to be noted here that the number of MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party is 107 in the current house. This means that if the resignation of 16 Congress MLAs is accepted, the Kamal Nath government will come in a minority and the power will go to the BJP.
What will happen if you do not accept the resignation:
If the Speaker of the Assembly wishes, the rebels of the Congress can disqualify him by not accepting the resignation. But this disqualification will not apply for more than six months. Despite being disqualified in the case of 17 rebel MLAs from Karnataka, the Supreme Court allowed them to appear in the majority test. That order may also apply to the circumstances of MP. Thus, accepting or not resigning by the Speaker has no value.
What will happen if Congress goes to court:
If the Congress party knocks on the law by accusing them of kidnapping their MLAs, a case will be registered under the Habeus Corpus. The case will be dismissed only when the MLAs are present in the court, but the court will not be compelled to make them present in the house.
Can Governor Lalji Tandon dissolve the assembly:
If the Governor agrees that there has been a situation of political instability in the state, then he can dissolve the Assembly. Or you can recommend President’s rule. But this is less likely to happen.
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