The Congress party on Wednesday sensationally sought re-elections in Madhya Pradesh, presumably for the 22 rebel MLAs' seats, before any floor-test is held in the politically unstable state, in a hearing on the matter in the Supreme Court.
Representing the Kamal Nath government in the apex court, Dushyant Dave said, "Defection can also happen when you resign, not only when you join another party. ... there needs to be re-election only then can a trust vote be asked for."
He also said that his petition raises a "frontal attack saying that there is a conspiracy by BJP to destabilise the government." Concluding his arguments, Dave said, "The Supreme Court hasn't gone into the aspect of constitutional morality in any of the judgments before. My only prayer is, Issue notice and hear it at length on some other day."
After the submissions given by Mukul Rohatgi, the bench rose for lunch.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition filed by BJP national vice-president and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other party members seeking directions for a floor test to be held immediately in the Madhya Pradesh assembly. “The current government in Madhya Pradesh will certainly fall. Today, the Bharatiya Janata Party has the required numbers to form the government," said Chouhan said.
The BJP had on Monday moved the Top court demanding an urgent trust vote in the assembly after Speaker Prajapati adjourned the session till 26 March, citing the threat of coronavirus. Meanwhile, the 22 Congress members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) from Madhya Pradesh said on Tuesday that they were in Bengaluru willingly and are still deciding on the next course of action. On the same day, Shivraj Singh Chouhan paraded 106 MLAs before the State's Governor and claimed that Kamal Nath has only 92 in his flock.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was placed under preventive arrest in Bengaluru on Wednesday after he tried to visit a hotel where several rebel party MLAs are staying. He sat on a dharna near the Ramada hotel when the police denied him permission to visit. He was later held.
Digvijaya Singh told news agency ANI, "We were expecting them to come back, but when we saw they are being held back, messages came from their families... I personally spoke to 5 MLAs, they said they're captive, phones snatched away, there is police in front of every room. They are being followed 24/7."
(With agency inputs)