In a big political development, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath has finally given up his attempts to somehow recover from the telling blow inflicted by Jyotiraditya Scindia’s resignation and 22 MLAs. Tendering his resignation hours before the trust vote, he said, “I have decided to tender my resignation to the Governor today,” during a press conference in Bhopal.
His resignation has been preceded by a series of drama and denial. From the outset, it was patently clear that the Kamal Nath led Madhya Pradesh government had lost its majority in the Legislative Assembly and its downfall was inevitable. But a desperate grand old party continued making all possible attempts to somehow stay in power.
“Coronavirus to yahan politics me hai…baad me dekha jayega (the coronavirus is here in politics… will see later).” Therefore, the outgoing Madhya Pradesh CM was giving it his everything to somehow save his government in the state so much so that he went to the extent of putting the fight against Coronavirus on the backburner.
In fact, Congress Ministers, senior leaders and MLAs from Madhya Pradesh also went to Bengaluru in an attempt to somehow get their rebel MLAs back in their Congress fold. Congress even staged a dharna when Digvijaya Singh and Ministers Sajjan Singh Verma, Tarun Bhanot, Jitu Patwari, Harsh Yadav and Surendra Singh Honey Baghel were stopped by the police from entering the hotel where the rebel MLAs were staying.
Within Madhya Pradesh, the Congress misused the position of the Speaker to delay the floor test and somehow buy time for retaining majority. Even though the Madhya Pradesh Governor had clearly said, “All must follow the rules under the Constitution so that dignity of Madhya Pradesh remains protected,” the Assembly Speaker took the unconscionable decision of adjourning the House till March 26 in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Leader of Opposition read out Gopal Bhargava read out Governor’s letter to CM Kamal Nath in which he was asked to seek a trust vote immediately after his address, but the Speaker remained adamant and said, “Whatever correspondence has taken place is between you and the Governor, not with the Speaker.”
The BJP had to move the Supreme Court in order to get an early floor test conducted. The Supreme Court laid down a deadline of 5 PM on Friday for getting the trust vote conducted. The trust vote was scheduled for 2 PM, but Kamal Nath clearly gave up well ahead of the trust vote.
Even in the apex court, the Congress had resorted to last minute dramatics and dilatory tactics, accusing the BJP of abducting its MLAs. The BJP, on the other hand, refuted all such allegations and made it clear that the MLAs were not kidnapped, rather they were “on their own”.
What however came as the final straw for Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia’s nomination papers to the Rajya Sabha was cleared by the Election officer A.P. Singh and the written objections raised by the Congress nominees were rejected. It had then become clear that the rebel MLAs who had resigned following Scindia’s decision to quit the grand old party would get further emboldened.
Thereafter, Kamal Nath had no choice but to give up all hopes of somehow luring the rebel lawmakers from the Scindia faction back to the Congress. Earlier, the outgoing Madhya Pradesh CM had even written a letter to the Union Home Minister, demanding the release stated of 22 Congress legislators “held” in Bengaluru.
He had stated, “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,” but the clearance of Scindia’s nomination to the Upper House was really the final straw. This is what dashed Kamal Nath’s hopes triggering an early downfall of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh just ahead of the trust vote.