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Testing times: BJP jubilant, Congress unhappy

BJP sources told ET that the 16 Congress MLAs holed up in a resort under police protection in BJP-ruled Karnataka were unlikely to attend Friday’s session. The MLAs had resigned but their resignation letters have not been processed.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 20, 2020, 08.49 AM IST
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Kamal Nath
BHOPAL: BJP MLAs camping at Sehore were jubilant on hearing the news that the SC had ordered a floor test in Madhya Pradesh on Friday. Addressing the media in Sehore, former CM Shivraj Chouhan said “justice has prevailed. We are confident the Congress government will fail in the floor test tomorrow and it would pave the way for the formation of a new government in the state. Our fort is strong and we will win it.”

BJP sources told ET that the 16 Congress MLAs holed up in a resort under police protection in BJP-ruled Karnataka were unlikely to attend Friday’s session. The MLAs had resigned but their resignation letters have not been processed. Since Monday, after BJP MLAs arrived in Bhopal from their constituencies, Chouhan has spent maximum time with them at their hotel in Sehore, outside Bhopal. The MLAs will be transported in buses directly to the assembly on Friday morning, accompanied by senior BJP leaders.

The Congress camp, which was hopeful of a clear direction from the SC on the 16 MLAs in Bengaluru, were disappointed at Thursday’s outcome. Cabinet ministers reached CM Kamal Nath’s residence to evaluate the situation. “We were expecting the Supreme Court to give clear direction to our 16 MLAs in Bengaluru. In the Karnataka case, the SC had ordered the MLAs to appear before the Speaker in 48 hours. However, no such direction has come from the court in the current case,” forest minister Umang Singar told ET. “We have maintained that we too want the floor test and are happy it will happen tomorrow. We will prove our majority,” he added. Another Congress minister, Jitu Patwari, said Congress MLAs in Bengaluru were welcome to join the trust vote.

There were two teams at work in the Congress. A team of young leaders comprising Umang Singar, Jitu Patwari, Jaivardhan Singh were looking at number management. Another team of Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Vivek Tankha were trying to explore legal options. Post the SC order, security was beefed up outside the residence of Speaker NP Prajapati. In the absence of the 16 Congress MLAs, the House strength will be 206 and the Nath government will need 104 votes to win the trust vote.

With independents, SP, BSP and one BJP MLA, the Congress figure is 100, while BJP has 106 MLAs.

Hours after the judgment, Nath tweeted, “we will study the every aspect of the SC judgment and discuss it with our legal experts to take a decision.” Later in the evening, PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma hosted a dinner for all Congress MLAs staying at a hotel in Bhopal.
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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