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Madhya Pradesh political drama: Digvijaya Singh stopped from meeting rebel MLAs, announces hunger strike

Twenty-two MLAs of Congress have submitted their resignations pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse.

SNS | New Delhi |

The political drama in Madhya Pradesh continues to see new developments ahead of Supreme Court hearing on floor test. On Wednesday Cogress leader Digvijaya Singh was stopped from meeting rebel party MLAs holed up in Bengaluru and was taken into a preventative custody.

Singh tweeted a series of videos from the scene outside the hotel where he and other party leaders have been detained. He has demanded to meet the MLAs who he alleges are under BJP’s captivity and announced hunger strike till his demands are not met.

Singh tweeted, “MLAs are not individual citizens, they represent lakhs of their constituents. If they have any problem, the constitutional provision is to meet Speaker or express on the Floor of the Assembly or through authorised Party leaders. Any other method is abduction of democracy.”

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon sent a letter to Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati in the early hours of Wednesday, saying that the latter made an “impartial and courageous” decision in accepting the resignations of six ministers.

Twenty-two MLAs of Congress submitted their resignations last week after Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the BJP, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse. Of these, the Speaker has accepted resignations of six MLAs.

“I can appreciate your concern for the security of the missing MLAs in view of their absence from the House as mentioned in your letter dated March 17, 2020. I can also guess the kind of pain you are undergoing since last 8-10 days in view of the above,” Tandon wrote, referring to a letter sent to him by the Speaker.

“Although there is no mention of efforts made by you to know about these members, I believe that you must have taken adequate efforts for it,” he said.

“As far as accepting resignation of honourable members is concerned, I can praise your impartial and courageous decision to accept the resignation of six out of 22 members very soon. As the Speaker, you must be well aware of the legal procedure to accept the resignation of any member or what action needed to be taken when the members are absent without any information despite knowing about the session,” the governor wrote. “However, I can also feel your dilemma in disposing of these MLAs’ resignation,” he added.

Regarding the missing MLAs, Tandon said they have been constantly writing to him and the Speaker but in none of their letters have they mentioned where they are at present. They have not mentioned any problems on their own, he added.

“Their letters and videos are also constantly getting highlighted in newspapers, electronic and social media and now they have also reached the Supreme Court,” Tandon said.

“In the last paragraph of your letter, you have demanded security for the MLAs. It is the duty of the executive to ensure the security of each and every citizen of the state and I am sure, you also wanted the same from it only, but, it appears that you have erroneously sent it to me,” the governor wrote.

Tandon also requested the Speaker to send a copy of the rules of the House regarding some questions and their answers that the latter had sought on the issue.