Kamal Nath Resigns Ahead of Floor Test

A total of 23 MLAs, including one from BJP, has resigned from the assembly. BJP is expected to stake a claim to form the government now.

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath resigned from his post after briefing the media at noon on Friday, March 20. He said the BJP has not betrayed him alone, “but it has betrayed people of Madhya Pradesh.”

Nath’s government had ended up a minority government after Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress to accept BJP’s nomination for Rajya Sabha elections. As many as 22 MLAs, in a coordinated rebellion, also resigned, pushing the government into a crisis.

“The people of this country can see the truth behind the incident where MLAs are being held hostage in Bengaluru…The truth will come out. People will not forgive them,” he said in the press conference. Nath met governor Lalji Tandon and tendered his official resignation at 1 pm.

“But I will continue to work for the welfare of the people,” he said.

His government was supposed to go through a floor test, after the Supreme Court ordered one in the assembly at 5 pm on the same day. With his resignation, the BJP is now expected to stake a claim to form a government.

“In the last 15 months, I have tried to fulfil many promises that we made in our manifesto”, he said, while adding that his government waived off loans of around 40 lakh farmers.

“Since the day, we formed the government, the BJP has been conspiring to pull it down,” he added. He also said that the BJP did not like when his government increased OBC reservation from 14% to 27%, or gave Rs 300 crore to Mahakaal temple in Ujjain for its redevelopment. He also spoke about how he had planned to make 1000 cow shelters but the BJP did not allow it.

Aaj ke baad kal bhi aata hai, aur kal ke baad parson bhi aata hai. Aur parson aayega. (‘There will be a tomorrow after today. And day after tomorrow after tomorrow. I want to say that the day after tomorrow will come’),” the outgoing chief minister said, hinting at the fact that he will not let the next BJP government function smoothly.

Since a total of 23 MLAs have resigned, the Congress will look to win back those seats in the bypolls.

The Congress veteran had, on March 19, said he would take a call on the way ahead for his government.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker N.P. Prajapati accepted the resignation of the remaining 16 MLAs loyal to former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on late Thursday night.

“I have accepted the resignation of the 16 MLAs who have filed petition in the Supreme Court. Based on what they have stated there, I am accepting resignation of these 16 MLAs also,” Prajapati had told reporters.

The Speaker had earlier accepted the resignations of six ministers who had resigned from their membership.

Pradeep Jaiswal an independent minister has resigned as well, seeking to distance himself from the Congress, sources have told The Wire.

In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, the actual strength of the house at present is 228 as two seats are lying vacant.

With the resignation of 16 more MLAs, the strength of Congress had come down to 92 from 108. Earlier, six ministers had resigned which brought down the ruling party’s strength from 114 to 108.

On the other hand, the BJP had 107 members in the House. However, the BJP had paraded 106 legislators before the governor on Monday as one of its MLAs, Narayan Tripathi, was absent and seen with the Congress legislators after the assembly proceedings.

The BSP has two members in the House while the SP has one besides four independents. All these MLAs BSP, SP and independents- had extended their support to the Congress during the formation of the government in 2018.

In the renewed situation, the majority mark is 104. However, Nath’s resignation subsumes the possibility of a floor test.

(With PTI inputs)