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It’s letter vs letter amid Madhya Pradesh political impasse

Trying to save his 15-month government amid endless meetings, the septuagenarian CM has visited the Raj Bhavan thrice to meet the octogenarian, who has hosted a slew of BJP delegations.

madhya pradesh, madhya pradesh news, madhya pradesh latest news, madhya pradesh floor test, madhya pradesh floor test result, madhya pradesh floor test 2020, madhya pradesh floor test live news, madhya pradesh government news Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath with Governor Lalji Tandon at the Assembly, in Bhopal. (PTI)

Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Governor Lalji Tandon engaged in a verbal duel amid the political impasse in Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh.

Trying to save his 15-month government amid endless meetings, the septuagenarian CM has visited the Raj Bhavan thrice to meet the octogenarian, who has hosted a slew of BJP delegations.

The exchange began on March 10 when the CM wrote to the Governor to remove six ministers — among the 22 legislators loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia who were in Bengaluru — from his Cabinet. The letter was terse and the Governor acted on it three days later.

The CM wrote another letter on March 13, requesting the Governor to investigate the circumstances in which Congress legislators were taken to Bengaluru in flights booked by the BJP and how a BJP leader submitted resignation letters of

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Congress legislators to the Assembly Speaker.

Tandon on March 14 shot a letter directing Nath to hold a floor test, arguing that in his opinion, prima facie, the Congress government was in minority and it should hold a floor test to prove its majority.

“I got your letter around midnight. When I met you, I had made it clear that holding a floor test when Congress legislators had been held hostage by the BJP would be inappropriate, undemocratic and unconstitutional,” the CM wrote on Monday before quoting a Supreme Court judgment to argue that the Governor was working outside his domain and the Legislature does not function under the Governor.

“The activities within a political party, confirming turbulence, or unrest among its ranks, are beyond the concern of the Governor. The Governor must keep clear of any political horse-trading, and even unsavoury political manipulations, irrespective of the degree of their ethical repulsiveness… the provisions of the Constitution do not enjoin upon the Governor the authority to resolve disputes within a political party, or between rival political parties,” the CM’s letter said.

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“It appears that your conclusion that my government is in minority is based on information you received from BJP… the fact is the legislators have been held hostage by the BJP. It’s not appropriate for you to reach such a conclusion,” Nath said, adding that “it’s a matter of public concern that BJP has offered bribe or held Congress legislators hostage. I am writing with pain and agony that you did not make any attempt to resolve the criminal conduct (of BJP leaders) and did not even acknowledge my letter.”

“I am surprised that you have expected action from me about certain assembly procedures that come within the authority of the Speaker. I hope mahamahim (Governor) will work according to law and Constitution in future.”

Tandon hit back within a few hours, objecting to the tone and language “not appropriate to parliamentary boundaries”. Tandon wrote that despite his directive to hold a floor test on Monday, the CM made no attempt to initiate the procedure.

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The Governor said the SC ruling was not applicable in the current situation. “It’s regrettable that you did not seek trust vote within the deadline and expressed disability/avoided… The reasons given by you not to hold the trust vote are baseless and meaningless.”

Asking the CM to hold a floor test on Tuesday “by respecting constitutional and democratic traditions,” the Governor said “it will be assumed that you actually don’t have a majority in the House” otherwise.

Meanwhile, the CM met the Governor late on Monday. After the meeting, Nath said that he thanked the Governor for his address and that the BJP has moved a no-confidence motion on Monday. The BJP, however, accused the CM of lying as no motion has been moved by the opposition party.

First published on: 17-03-2020 at 02:18:20 am
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