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Will give my ruling on Monday: MP Speaker on floor test

Will give my ruling on Monday: MP Speaker on floor test

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Speaker NP Prajapati on Sunday refused to commit whether he will order a floor test in the Legislative Assembly on March 16 as directed by Governor Lalji Tandon to Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

All eyes are on Prajapati whose call on the floor test- allowing or disallowing it on Monday on the first day of the Budget session–will have a bearing on the prevailing political situation in the Congress-ruled state.

"This will be known tomorrow(Monday)," Prajapati told reporters here when queried on whose order prevails in ordering a floor test.

"I said yesterday(Saturday) that a decision which I will have to take, I don't take it pre-decided. This question is like taking a blind shot. I don't want to be a party to it. I will read out my ruling tomorrow," the Speaker said.

Meanwhile, the Congress MLAs, who had been camping in Jaipur amid the political crisis being faced by the Kamal Nath government, returned to Bhopal on Sunday.

"After landing at Bhopal airport, we are being taken to a hotel in buses. Instead of returning home, we will stay in Bhopal as the budget session of the assembly will start on Monday," a Congress MLA said.

The government in Madhya Pradesh was pushed to the brink on Tuesday when 22 MLAs resigned from the party, immediately after senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party. He later joined the BJP.

The Speaker has so far accepted resignations of six of the 22 MLAs, bringing down the effective strength of the House to 222 and the new majority mark at 112. The opposition BJP has 107 MLAs.

Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister Kamal Nath maintained that his government would prove their majority in the Assembly on Monday. "All is well," he told reporters outside Vallabh Bhawan. Several other ministers also exuded confidence that the party would survive the test.

State Public Relations Minister P C Sharma said that although the governor has asked the Congress government to seek a trust vote after his (governor's) address in the Assembly on Monday, the Speaker is empowered to decide the proceedings of the House and he would take a call on it.

However, BJP chief whip in the Assembly, Narottam Mishra, said, "The Congress has lost its majority. The governor is saying that was in a minority. I am not saying this...it has been mentioned it the governor's letter sent to chief minister."

According to sources, the BJP is keen to go for a floor test on Monday itself while the Congress is in favour of buying some time with the hope to win back some of the rebel legislators.

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