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Guv sacks 'Scindia loyalist' ministers as Kamal Nath says he's ready for floor test

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
March 13, 2020 20:38 IST
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Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon on Friday removed six ministers, supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia, on the recommendation of Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

 

Amid the ongoing political crisis triggered by Scindia's exit from the Congress and rebellion of 22 MLAs whosupport him, Nath had, on March 10, written to Tandon seeking immediate removal of the six ministers.

Imarati Devi, Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Pradyumn Singh Tomar and Prabhuram Chaudhari were removed from the cabinet with immediate effect on Friday, said a Public Relations Department official.

Earlier in the day, Nath met the governor at 11 am and submitted a letter expressing his government's willingness to face a floor test in the Assembly.

Expressing the readiness of his government for a floor test in the Assembly, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of holding 22 Congress MLAs in captivity.

Nath said he will welcome a floor test in the assembly, whose budget session is beginning from March 16, on a date fixed by the speaker.

The chief minister made the statement after calling on Governor Lalji Tandon in Bhopal, his first meeting since rebellion by a section of Congress MLAs three days ago which pushed his government into crisis.

 

He also submitted to the Governor a three-page letter in which he accused the BJP of being involved in horse-trading and holding the rebel Congress MLAs in captivity.

The opposition BJP has consistently denied the Congress charge of poaching MLAs to topple its government.

The CM-governor meeting at Raj Bhavan, which began around 11 am, lasted for around half an hour.

I wished Governor on the occasion of Holi. Our 22 MLAs are being held captive. I have submitted a letter to him alleging horse-trading by the BJP.

"I have demanded that these MLAs be released immediately. Floor test can be held anytime," Nath told reporters after meeting Tandon.

Nath's letter said, As a responsible leader of Indian National Congress, I invite and would welcome a floor test of my government in the forthcoming session of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly already notified from March 16, 2020, on a date fixed by the Speaker.

"This is the minimum a constitutional authority can offer to address the ongoing turmoil."

Nath sought the governor's intervention for release of the captive Congress MLAs.

We request your excellency may use your good office as constitutional Head of the state with the Union Home Minister to ensure the release of MLAs held captive in
Bengaluru.

We expect enquiry and investigation in the resignation letters submitted by the BJP allegedly of the captive Congress MLAs and its timely completion, the letter said.

Nath mentioned the sequence of events from the intervening night of March 3-4 to March 10, and claimed there were incidents of horse-trading during this period.

'In the first attempt (of horse trading), on 3rd/4th of March 2020, the mid-night drama leading to whisking away the MLAs to Bengaluru is in public domain,' he said in the letter.

'Post failure of first attempt, the BJP, on March 8, 2020, arranged three chartered aircraft to whisk away 19 MLAs of the Congress to Bengaluru.

'Since then these 19 MLAs, of who six are cabinet ministers, are incommunicado in the resort arranged by the BJP,' the chief minister said.

'Nobody is allowed access and/or any sort of communication with the 19 captive MLAs,' he said.

Nath pointed out that senior BJP leaders reached the speakers residence at about 5.50 pm on March 10 to handover 19 resignation letters allegedly of these Congress MLAs.

None of these MLAs were present to tender their resignation, he said.

In a most unusual act and/or conduct, the resignation of 19 Congress MLAs are submitted by leaders of BJP and not by MLAs themselves.

This demonstrates the complicity of BJP leaders in entire conspiracy and illegal action, the letter stated.

The CM also mentioned about the incident on Thursday in Bengaluru where MP ministers Jitu Patwari and Lakhan Singh were allegedly manhandled by the police when they reached to meet Congress MLA Manoj Choudhary.

'In these circumstances, the very edifice of democracy is in danger,' Nath said in the letter.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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