Ready for floor test; 22 MLAs held captive: Kamal Nath to governor, Read the letter

Expressing the readiness of his government for a floor test in the Assembly, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday accused the BJP of holding 22 Congress MLAs in captivity

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath (File Photo)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath (File Photo)
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PTI

Expressing the readiness of his government for a floor test in the Assembly, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday accused the BJP of holding 22 Congress MLAs in captivity.

Nath met Tandon and submitted a letter to him accusing the BJP of being involved in horse-trading and holding the Congress MLAs in captivity.

Nath met Tandon in the midst of political crisis in the state triggered by the resignation of the 22 Congress MLAs three days ago. He met the governor at around 11 am and submitted the three-page letter to him.

In the letter, released by a Congress spokesman to the media, Nath expressed his readiness to hold the floor test during the budget session beginning from March 16.

Nath also mentioned the sequence of events from the intervening night of March 3 and March 4 to March 10, and claimed there were incidents of horse-trading during this period.

In these circumstances, the very edifice of democracy is in danger, Nath wrote in the letter.

Nath also told the governor to use his office to ensure the release of Congress MLAs held in captivity in Bengaluru.

Nath, whose government is teetering on the brink of a collapse following the rebellion, reached Raj Bhavan to meet Tandon, who arrived here on Thursday night from Lucknow.

The chief minister briefed the governor about the current political situation in the state, Congress sources said.

The ruling Congress has alleged that 19 of the rebel Congress MLAs, including ministers, have been held "captive" by the BJP in a resort in Bengaluru, a charge denied by the opposition party.

Nath's meeting with the governor comes amid unconfirmed reports that six ministers, said to be close to former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, will be coming to Bhopal from Bengaluru to hand over their resignation letters in person to the Assembly speaker.

Attempts to contact these ministers proved futile.

Scindia joined the BJP on Wednesday, a day after he was expelled from Congress

Here is the full text of Kamal Nath’s letter to Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon:

To,

The Hon'ble Governor State of Madhya Pradesh RajBhawan, Bhopal

Subject: - Horse Trading of MLAs by the Bhartiya Janata Party.

Respected Sir, I'm constrained to point out the immoral, unethical and illegal acts of Bhartiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh.

In the first attempt, on 3rd/4th of March 2020, the mid-night drama leading to whisking away to MLAs to Bengaluru is in public domain. The leaders of the Congress Party foiled the attempt of BJP to keep in captivity the MLAs by using both allurement and force.

Post failure of first attempt, the Bhartiya Janata Party, on 8th March 2020 arranged three chartered Aircrafts to whisk away 19 MLAs of the Congress Party to Bengaluru. Since, then these 19 MLAs, of whom Six MLAs are Cabinet Ministers, are incommunicado in a resort arranged by BJP. Nobody is allowed access and/or any sort of communication with the 19 captive MLAs.

To utter shock, Senior Leaders of BJP reached the Speaker's residence at about 05:30 p.m. on 10th of March 2020 (day of Holi) to handover 19 resignation letters allegedly of these Congress MLAs. None of the 19 MLAs were present to tender resignation at Speaker's residence. In a most unusual act and/or conduct, the resignation of 19 Congress MLAs are submitted by leaders of BJP and not by MLAs themselves. This demonstrates the complicity of BJP leaders in the entire conspiracy and illegal actions.

It raises questions of Constitutional propriety and legislative procedure and transparency. The submission smacks of and is dehors the provisions of Constitution and the Legislative Rules inforce for submission and acceptance of resignations of MLAs

On 12th March 2020, two Cabinet Ministers of Madhya Pradesh namely Shri Jitu Patwari and Shri Lakhan Singh Yadav, along with Shri Narayan Singh Choudhary, father of Congress MLA Shri Manoj Choudhary, went to meet the captive MLA Shri Manoj Choudhary at Bengaluru, wherein all three of them have been manhandled by BJP goons as well as Karnataka State Police and were illegally detained. This is sheer mockery of Rule of Law, wherein the leaders of BJP have hatched a conspiracy of abducting the Congress MLAs to destabilize the duly constituted State Government. There are various pictures and videos of the said incidents.

In these disturbing circumstances, the very edifice of democracy is in danger. Trust of a transparent democratic process seems lost. It merits full investigation and enquiry, so that persons responsible for de-railing the democratic institutional process are exposed and punished.

Our commitment to democratic institutional process is unwavering. We expect the enquiry and investigation on the resignation letters submitted by BJP allegedly of the captive Congress MLAs, is acted upon and completed early. As a responsible leader of Indian National Congress, I invite and would welcome a Floor Test of my Government in the forthcoming Session of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly already notified from 16th March 2020, on a date fixed by the Speaker. This is the minimum a Constitutional Authority, can offer to address the ongoing turmoil.

We assure the people of Madhya Pradesh that we will not leave any stone unturned to ensure triumph of democracy and the legislative process, to uphold the Constitution and the values enshrined therein.

We request Your Excellency may use your good office as Constitutional Head of the State with the Hon'ble Union Home Minister to ensure release of MLAs held in captivity in Bengaluru.

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Published: 13 Mar 2020, 1:36 PM
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