The Weekend Leader - Will coronavirus come to the rescue of Congress in MP?

Will coronavirus come to the rescue of Congress in MP?

Bhopal

15-March-2020

Can coronavirus come to the rescue of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh? New Health Minister Tarun Bhanot and Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati seem to be holding hope.

Bhanot said on Sunday that since most MLAs have stayed away in the areas affected by the virus, they could be put through tests to confirm they were not affected.

Prajapati said he would take a call on the issue only on Monday. The Speaker said he owed a responsibility to the House and also to all MLAs. Noting he had been waiting for the members who have been held up in other towns to present themselves for verification, he said: "It was futile. I will now decide about the issue at an opportune moment."

Almost three hours after 94 Congress legislators returned to Bhopal from Jaipur on Sunday, 16 rebels and all 107 BJP MLAs stayed put at Bengaluru and Gurugram creating a suspense over the timely start of Monday's Budget session. The rebels may not even make it to the start of the session.

Though the Governor has directed the Chief Minister to seek trust vote after his address on Monday, the Speaker was empowered to decide the proceedings of the house and take a call, said a former secretary to the Vidhan Sabha.

"The Congress members opted to stay in Bhopal in a hotel and would remain there till the start of the session," a Congress legislator said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Govind Singh issued a whip on directing Congress MLAs to be present at the budget session of the Assembly.

Though the Congress is appearing confident, it is busy devising ways to defer the start of the session. The Congress has nothing to lose and can go all out to turn the
tide in its favour.

BJP chief whip in the assembly Narottam Mishra said: "Congress has lost the majority. The Governor is saying the government is in a minority. I am not saying this, this has been mentioned in the letter sent to the Chief Minister by the Governor."

With the Speaker accepting the resignations of 6 out of 22 rebels Congress legislators on Saturday, the strength of the MP assembly has dipped to 222 members.

The Congress has a thin majority in the 222-member Assembly. Before the rebellion early this week, its tally was 114. It also has the support of four Independents, two BSP MLAs and one from the SP, but some may now switch sides to the BJP. IANS


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