Amidst dramatic scenes and walkout by the BJP, Congress nominee N.P. Prajapati on Tuesday, December 8, was elected the Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly in the first floor test for the ruling party which had returned to power last month after 15 years.
There was pandemonium and two adjournments for a period of 10 minutes each after the BJP demanded that the resolution proposing the name of its candidate Vijay Shah should also be taken up along with the motion moved by the ruling party favouring the candidature of Prajapati.
It all started with Minister Govind Singh proposing the name of Prajapati, which was supported by Arif Akil, Vikram Singh and many other party MLAs.
Protem Speaker Deepak Saxena took up the motion favouring Prajapati as BJP members objected to it saying their motion should also be taken up simultaneously.
When this was disallowed, the members created a ruckus and the House was adjourned. The scenes were repeated when the House met after the adjournment, only to be adjourned again.
In the division in the absence of BJP members, Prajapati got 120 votes including that of two BSP MLAs, the lone SP MLA and four Independents
Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan described the process adopted by the protem Speaker as "murder" of democracy. His party MLAs demanded a secret voting which was rejected by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Govind Singh citing a Supreme Court ruling in this regard. Chouhan then led a walkout of his party MLAs.
The Chair then put the resolution to a voice vote in which the Congress MLAs backed Prajapati. However, Sanjiv Singh Kushwaha of BSP, which supports the Kamal Nath government, sought a division.
In the division in the absence of BJP members, Prajapati got 120 votes including that of two BSP MLAs, the lone SP MLA and four Independents.
The BJP has 109 MLAs in the 230-member House.
After the election, Chief Minister Kamal Nath congratulated Prajapati and expressed the hope that he would take care of the aspirations of all sections in the House.