Kamal Nath quits as Madhya Pradesh CM ahead of floor test in assembly, accuses BJP of luring Congress MLAs

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday (March 20, 2020) blamed the BJP of betraying the people's mandate and triggering a political crisis in the Congress-ruled state. The veteran Congres leader accused the BJP of "murdering democracy" and plotting to pull down his government from the day he took oath on December 17, 2018, after the Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

Kamal Nath quits as Madhya Pradesh CM ahead of floor test in assembly, accuses BJP of luring Congress MLAs

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday (March 20, 2020) resigned from his post just a few hours before the scheduled time for the trust vote in the Assembly after accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of betraying the people's mandate and triggering a political crisis in the Congress-ruled state. His announced that he would submit his resignation to Governor Lalji Tandon as the BJP had destabilised his government by keeping a group of 22 Congress MLAs as a hostage in Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka. 

Addressing a press conference in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, Kamal Nath said, "The people of this country can see the truth behind the incident where MLAs are being held hostage in Bengaluru. The truth will come out. People will not forgive BJP which has been trying every trick to bring down my 15-month old government. BJP leaders could not digest the development work and people-friendly measure taken by my government during the last 15 months." Nath further said that the BJP is jealous of the progress MP made under the Congress regime.

The veteran Congres leader accused the BJP of "murdering democracy" and plotting to pull down his government from the day he took oath on December 17, 2018, after the Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly. The BJP emerged as the second-largest party with 109 legislators. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party and Independents won two, one and four seats respectively and all of them supported the Congress which formed the government.

Kamal Nath had earlier called a meeting of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Legislature Party (CLP) started at his residence where it is believed that he was told by the party high command to resign as his government had lost majority after the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs. The CLP meeting was called ahead of the special session of Madhya assembly which was scheduled to start at 2 pm on Friday.

Hours ahead of the floor test, Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati had accepted the resignations of 16 rebel Congress MLAs on Thursday night.

''Now I have also accepted the resignation of Sharad Kol (BJP MLA). He had earlier said that he was forcefully made to resign but after looking at his documents and that he didn`t meet me personally, it didn`t seem like that," Prajapati told reporters.

''Now I have also accepted the resignation of Sharad Kol (BJP MLA). He had earlier said that he was forcefully made to resign but after looking at his documents and that he didn`t meet me personally, it didn`t seem like that," Prajapati told reporters.

The apex court had on Thursday ordered the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker to conduct a floor test by 5 pm on Friday, leaving the fate of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government hanging by a thread after the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs.

Congress insiders had earlier indicated that the party was not in favour of filing a review petition in the apex court against its direction given on Thursday.

With the resignation of 16 more MLAs, the strength of Congress had come down to 92 from 108. Earlier, six ministers had resigned which brought down the ruling party's strength from 114 to 108.