SC had to intervene in Karnataka, Maharashtra also

SC had to intervene in Karnataka, Maharashtra also

Supreme Court of India. (Credit: PTI Photo)

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath resigned after the Supreme Court directed him to prove his majority in the state Assembly on Friday, paving way for the BJP to form the government in the state.

This is not the first instance of the apex court’s intervention in the change of government in a state. More recently, political parties have knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court to form governments in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttarakhand.

In November last year, Shiv Sena walked out of the alliance with the BJP to join hands with Opposition Congress and NCP to form the government in Maharashtra. In a bid to remain in power, the BJP pocketed a group of NCP legislators and hurriedly made Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy on November 23.

Governor B S Koshiyari had asked Fadnavis to prove majority within two weeks, prompting the Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress to move Supreme Court. Fadnavis tendered his resignation as the chief minister soon after the top court directed him to prove the majority on the floor of the Assembly.

In Karnataka, 17 Congress-JD(S) rebel MLAs had moved the Supreme Court in July last year after the then Speaker Ramesh Kumar delayed the acceptance of their resignation letters. The MLAs feared that the Speaker might reject their resignations, paving way for their respective parties to disqualify them for six years.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the rebel MLAs saying they cannot be compelled to attend the trust vote, sealing the fate of the H D Kumaraswamy-led JD(S)-Congress government. BJP’s B S Yediyurappa was sworn-in as the chief minister soon after.

In March 2016, as the Congress-led government in Uttarakhand was passing the state budget, nine MLAs of the ruling party rebelled and sought a vote, putting the government in peril. The failure to pass the Budget would have led to the ouster of the government. As confusion prevailed in the state, the Centre imposed the President’s Rule in Uttarakhand which was struck down by the high court, only to be re-imposed when the Centre moved the Supreme Court.

However, the Congress government was re-instated and even won the court-ordered trust vote under the watchful gaze of television cameras.

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