In a blow to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that the Governor was within his rights to ask for a trust vote if a government lost its majority while the state assembly is not in session. 'If the House is not in session and if the government loses its majority, then the Governor has power to direct Speaker to hold trust vote,' said the court.
'What happens when the assembly is prorogued and a government loses its majority? Cannot the Governor then call the assembly? Since not allowing this would mean a government in minority to continue,' said the judges, hearing the BJP's request for an immediate floor test.
The Kamal Nath Government faces collapse in a trust vote after 22 ruling party MLAs quit last week.
The party had objected to the state Governor, Mr. Lalji Tandon, asking the Speaker to call a trust vote.
The Speaker,Mr. NP Prajapati, accepted only six of the resignations and has asked the others to confirm their decision in person. The MLAs have refused to return to Bhopal without protection; they allege that the Congress has been trying to force them to withdraw their resignations and they are under immense pressure.
The court asked the Speaker if he could speak via video link to the rebel Congress MLAs.
'We can create conditions to ensure exercise of their volition is truly voluntary. We can appoint an observer to Bengaluru or some other place. They can connect with you on the video conferencing and you can then decide,' said Mr. Justice DY Chandrachud.