As per sources, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath is likely to step down before the floor test. Sources add that he might submit his resignation to Governor Lalji Tandon in the evening or Friday afternoon. Moreover, none of the rebel MLAs holed up in Bengaluru will be a part of the floor test, according to sources. Incidentally, such a precedent was witnessed in Maharashtra last year when BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis stepped down ahead of the Supreme Court-mandated floor test citing the inability to secure the support of NCP MLAs.
On Thursday, the two-judge SC bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta observed that the MP Assembly session should be reconvened on Friday for the sole purpose of holding a floor test by show of hands. The entire proceedings will be videographed and telecasted live. Moreover, the bench directed the authorities to ensure that there is no breach of law and order. Most importantly, the rebel MLAs have not been compelled to attend the session. However, the DGP of Karnataka and MP have been asked to ensure the security of the aforesaid legislators if they choose to be a part of the floor test.
The political crisis in MP was spurred by the resignation of Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs on March 10. Subsequently, the Speaker accepted the resignation of only 6 rebel legislators. Thus, Congress currently has 108 MLAs and is supported by one SP, two BSP (one of whom has been suspended) and 4 Independent MLAs in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, whose strength has been reduced to 222. On the other hand, BJP has 107 seats while two seats are vacant.
As the halfway mark is 112, the Kamal Nath government has a very slender majority. But if the remaining 16 dissident MLAs do not attend the trust vote, the Madhya Pradesh government will not be able to survive the trust vote as the Congress coalition's tally will drop down to 99- 5 votes short of the new halfway mark (104).