Kamal Nath Says BJP "Betrayed" People Of Madhya Pradesh: 10 Points

Top Congress sources say with the party's wafer-thin majority gone after the resignation of 22 MLAs, Kamal Nath has been asked to "graciously resign" and not test his strength in the assembly.

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath today accused the BJP of "murdering democracy" in what appeared to be his resignation speech ahead of a Supreme Court-ordered trust vote that his Congress government was certain to lose. Top Congress sources say with the party's wafer-thin majority gone after the resignation of 22 MLAs, Kamal Nath was asked to "graciously resign" and not test his strength in the assembly. The Congress, desperate to win back the MLAs who had left with high-profile rebel Jyotiraditya Scindia, had tried to buy time but the Supreme Court, petitioned by the opposition BJP, ruled that the "state of uncertainty" should be effectively resolved by a floor test to be held by 5 pm today. The BJP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a three-time Chief Minister, is likely to return to power.

Here are the latest developments in this big story:

  1. The Supreme Court has ordered Kamal Nath to prove his majority in a vote in the assembly by a show of hands, video-graphed and telecast live.

  2. The Congress's countdown began after 22 MLAs flew to Bengaluru by a special flight last week and resigned after Jyotiraditya Scindia quit his party of 18 years.

  3. The Speaker had accepted the resignation of six and asked the remaining 16 to come in person before him and confirm their resignation.

  4. The Congress claimed that the MLAs had been "kidnapped and held captive" by the BJP. Party leaders like Digvijaya Singh also claimed they had sent SOS that their phones had been snatched and they were not allowed to speak to anyone.

  5. The rebels, however, countered the Congress assertion by routinely posting videos in which they said they were in Bengaluru of their own volition and that they wanted no further talks with the Congress. They also asked for protection to return to Bhopal, as demanded by the Speaker, saying their lives were in danger from Congress leaders.

  6. The Supreme Court yesterday suggested the Speaker talk to the MLAs via video-conferencing.

  7. When the Speaker asked for two weeks to decide, the judges said: "Weeks are gold mines for horse-trading. It is why the court has been proactive in ordering the floor tests."

  8. Later yesterday, the Speaker accepted the resignations of the 16 remaining Congress MLAs, which makes it almost certain that the Congress will lose Madhya Pradesh.

  9. The 22 Congress resignations bring down the total strength of the assembly to 206. The ruling party has 92 members and seven allied MLAs, at least five short of a simple majority of 104. The opposition BJP with 107 MLAs is three past the majority.

  10. Following the verdict, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the BJP's three-time Chief Minister from the state, tweeted, "Satyamev Jayate" - meaning "Truth shall prevail". 


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