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MP Floor Test: Assembly Adjourned till 26 March Amid Coronavirus

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Govind Singh raised the issue of coronavirus threat in the country.

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India
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The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was adjourned till 26 March without holding a floor test for the Congress-ruled government in the state on Monday, 16 March, in view of the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reported.

Just after the brief address by the governor, MLAs of the BJP raised the demand for a floor test, triggering an uproar.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Govind Singh raised the issue of coronavirus threat in the country and also mentioned the central government's advisory.

The speaker accepted Singh's plea and adjourned the House till 26 March.

Meanwhile, Governor Lalji Tandon left shortly after Assembly proceedings began and appealed to uphold Parliamentary traditions and responsibilities in a peaceful manner.

"All must follow the rules under the Constitution so that dignity of Madhya Pradesh remains protected,” Tandon was quoted by ANI as saying.

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Uncertainty Over Trust Vote

Earlier on Monday, uncertainty loomed over the floor test with sources in the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp claiming that the 22 MLAs of the Congress who had resigned last week might not be coming to Bhopal, according to PTI.

Governor Lalji Tandon had on Saturday night directed Chief Minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote in the House immediately after he delivers his customary address on the first day of the Budget session beginning Monday.

Nath, who met the Governor on Sunday late night, said that the decision on a floor test will be taken by the Speaker.

The 22 MLAs of the Congress who had resigned may not return to Bhopal on Monday from Bengaluru where they are camping, sources close to BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose rebellion from the Congress had triggered a political crisis in the state, said on Monday morning, according to PTI.

These MLAs, including six ministers, have already resigned from the membership of the Assembly and there is no point in coming back at this point, they said.

Of the 22 MLAs, at least 19 MLAs had e-mailed their resignation letters to the governor from Bengaluru on 10 March.

Speaker NP Prajapati had accepted resignations of six of the 22 MLAs. He, however, remained non-committal on holding a floor test.

No Listing of Floor Test in Assembly

Interestingly, holding of a floor test found no mention in the List of Business (LoB) issued by the state Assembly secretariat on Sunday night.

The LoB mentioned only about the governor's customary address on the first day of the Budget session and the motion of thanks.

Referring to this, BJP national vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Kamal Nath has very innocently said that it is the job of the speaker to conduct floor test, while the fact is that it is the government which decides the business of the House,” PTI reported.

"The governor had ordered the chief minister to seek the trust vote after his customary address. Tandon has written the letter to you (Nath) and not to the speaker," he said on Sunday.

Chouhan said that with the resignations of 22 MLAs, the Nath government was reduced to a minority.

"The government must table a proposal for holding a floor test in the House and the speaker should ensure that it will be conducted," the former chief minister demanded.

On Sunday late night, MLAs of the BJP returned to Bhopal from Manesar in Haryana. The MLAs of the Congress had also returned from Jaipur.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

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