16 rebel MPs hold the key to power in MP

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BY SANDEEP PAURANIK
Bhopal, March 16 (IANS)
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress look to complete the numbers, 16 rebel MLAs hold the key to power in Madhya Pradesh.
For the last 10 days, the state has been witnessing a high-voltage political drama. Twenty two legislators supporting Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently joined the BJP, rebelled and resigned from the membership of the Assembly out of which the resignations of six MLAs have been accepted. The other 16 MLAs have also requested Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati to accept their resignations.
On March 14, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon had written to Chief Minister Kamal Nath to conduct the floor test after the Governor’s address but it didn’t happen. Nath said the floor test is irrelevant as the MLAs are being held hostage.
As per the current situation of the Assembly, out of 230 members two seats are vacant while six MLAs have resigned. The Congress now has 108 MLAs, the BJP has 107, two of BSP, one of SP and four Independents.
If the resignations of the 16 MLAs is accepted then the Congress will be left with only 92, however, if the BSP, SP and the Independent MLAs support the Congress then the count will be 99.
After the acceptance of the resignation of all the 22 MLAs, the Assembly will have 206 MLAs and 104 MLAs will be required to prove majority. This means the BJP will have a clear majority with three more MLAs while the Congress will lose its majority by a count of five.
The BJP went to Raj Bhavan and paraded the 106 MLAs along with affidavits before the Governor and claimed that the Kamal Nath government in the state was in a minority. The BJP has a majority in the present situation.
The Governor has written again to the Chief Minister to get the floor test done on March 17. He told Kamal Nath that while respecting the constitutional and democratic beliefs, conduct a floor test and prove your majority in the Assembly by March 17 i.e. Tuesday, else it will be assumed that you don’t have a majority.
On the BJP’s claim that the Congress doesn’t have a majority, Nath said, “If the BJP feels they have a majority, then who has stopped them from bringing a no-confidence motion, we will prove our majority.”

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