Shivraj Singh Chouhan against Congress floor test in MP assembly

A day before the counting of votes on Thursday, former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he was not in favour of a floor test in the Madhya Pradesh assembly, contrary to what leader of the opposition in the assembly, Gopal Bhargava, had indicated on Tuesday.

His statement came a day after chief minister Kamal Nath alleged that the BJP has contacted 10 Congress legislators and offered them money to switch sides. He also expressed confidence that his government was “stable”.

On Wednesday Chouhan said, “I am not in favour of a floor test …. BJP does not believe in ‘Jor Tod ki Rajneeti”. On Tuesday, he had demanded Kamal Nath’s resignation while referring to the exit polls, which gave the BJP 26 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

On Monday, Bhargava had written to state governor Anandiben Patel, demanding a special session of the assembly to discuss burning issues confronting the state and hinted that he may demand a floor test during the session. Though there was no mention of the floor test in the letter written to the governor on Monday afternoon, Bhargava had said, “The exit polls have shown that the Congress has lost its mandate and in any case the government is in minority.”

His demand for a special session has been rejected by the Governor, officials familiar with the matter in the Raj Bhawan said. The BJP leaders on condition of anonymity said that the party high command was not in favour of conducting the floor test immediately and has asked the senior leaders to refrain from speaking on the issue.

The Congress was quick to pounce on the apparent discordant note within the party. Party spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said, “Though Gopal Bhargava is the Leader of the Opposition, he is having a tough time stamping his authority within the party as former chief minister Chouhan is hogging all the limelight. He (Bhargava) shot off the letter to show his importance in the party.”

BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said there is no contradiction in what the party leaders are saying. “Bhargavji had only demanded a special session. Everyone in BJP is against ‘Jor Tor Ki Rajniti’. The Congress government will fall due to its own contradiction.

In the 230 member state assembly, the Congress has 113 members and also have the support of another seven members including two from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and four independents. The BJP has 109 legislators.

First Published:
May 22, 2019 19:33 IST

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