Madhya Pradesh: Supreme Court issues notice to Kamal Nath government and MP assembly speaker; hearing tomorrow
On March 16, BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan had filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking an immediate floor test of the Kamal Nath government. Today, the apex has issued a notice to the Congress-led MP government.
Amid the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Kamal Nath government seeking its response to former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's plea. The apex court will hear both sides on Wednesday at 10.30 in the morning.
Former Chief Minister and BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan had approached the apex court on March 16. In the petition, Chouhan had sought an immediate floor test in the state assembly for proving the majority of the Congress government. The BJP had approached the SC soon after the Madhya Pradesh assembly speaker NP Prajapati failed to conduct the floor test in the assembly – despite the instructions of the MP Governor Lalji Tandon. Instead, the speaker chose to adjourn the House until March 26.
According to reports, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that the Madhya Pradesh government representatives deliberately did not appear in the court. Rohatgi is representing the BJP and Chouhan in the matter.
Rohatgi claimed that this case represents a complete “travesty of democracy” and that the “floor test is required” in the MP assembly.
Justice DY Chandrachud said that the notice is being issued to the Madhya Pradesh government. The SC bench has issued notices to the MP assembly speaker, the Principal Secretary of Assembly, and Governor Lalji Tandon.
Notably, for instant delivery of the notices, it was also sent through WhatsApp.
The bench will hear the matter on March 18, that is, Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Governor Lalji Tandon had asked the Kamal Nath government to conduct the floor test today. In the letter to the MP Chief Minister, Tandon had said that if his government fails to conduct the floor test in the House, then it will be assumed that Kamal Nath doesn’t have the majority. The MP BJP has also served the no-confidence motion against the Kamal Nath government.
However, considering the state of affairs in the MP assembly, it is highly unlikely that any floor test can be conducted today. The MP assembly speaker Prajapati has adjourned the House until March 26.
To conduct the floor test, Prajapati will first have to call a special sitting of the assembly. No such notification has been issued by the assembly yet. The crisis in the state was triggered by rebellion of 22 Congress legislators from Jyotiraditya Scindia camp. Scindia resigned from the Congress on March 10 and had joined the BJP on March 11. The rebel MLAs have been shifted to a resort in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The political crisis in Madhya Pradesh has triggered a stand-off between Governor Tandon and CM Nath and his associate Speaker Prajapati. The speaker’s decision to override the Governor’s recommendation is now leading MP into a probable constitutional crisis.