Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs and Independents who were lodged at a Jaipur resort arrived in Bhopal on Sunday ahead of the floor test ordered by Governor Lalji Tandon in the assembly on Monday.
Flashing victory signs, the MLAs claimed that the Congress government — which was plunged into a crisis following the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 MLAs — would prove majority in the floor test.
Congress leader Harish Rawat, who was accompanying the MLAs, exuded confidence and said the party was also in touch in rebel MLAs.
“We are ready for the floor test and we are confident of winning it. We are not nervous, BJP is. Those (rebel) MLAs are also in touch with us,” he said.
In a late-night move, Lalji Tandon asked Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati to hold a floor test on Monday, days after 22 Congress MLAs resigned and pushed Kamal Nath’s 15-month-old government to the brink of collapse.
In his order, the Governor said: "The Madhya Pradesh Assembly's session will commence at 16 March, 2020, at 11 am, and after my address to the assembly, the first work to be conducted will be voting on trust vote.”
Earlier on Saturday, in a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah, Nath urged him to ensure the "release" of 22 Congress legislators he alleged were being held "captive" in Bengaluru.
“Please use your power as Union home minister so that 22 Congress MLAs held captive can safely reach Madhya Pradesh and participate in the Assembly session beginning from March 16 without any allurement and fear," the four-page letter, shared by the Congress with the media, said.
Nath assured Shah in the letter that his Congress government in the state will provide excellent security to these 22 MLAs, if they are "released", referring to the demand of CRPF cover for the legislators.
The CM added that on March 3, BSP MLA Rambai and his family members were freed from the "captivity" of BJP leaders in Gurugram (Haryana). Later, three Congress MLAs and an Independent were taken to Bengaluru by BJP MLA Arvind Singh Bhadoriya as was evident from the list of passengers of the charter plane, he alleged.
On March 9, 19 MLAs were taken to Bengaluru by BJP leaders by three charter planes, Nath claimed. Their "personal communication facilities" (mobile phones) were taken away and they were held captive and the Karnataka BJP is bearing the expenses of their stay in Bengaluru, he alleged.
"This is an unprecedented situation" because on the one hand the BJP is holding them captive and on the other hand it is demanding a floor test, Nath said, adding that a trust vote has no meaning in this situation.
“I am concerned about the safety of these MLAs and in my opinion, floor test in assembly is meaningless as 22 MLAs are being held captive,” Nath wrote.
Twenty-two Madhya Pradesh MLAs, supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia who left the Congress to join the BJP, have resigned, reducing the Kamal Nath-led government to minority in the Assembly.