Bhopal: Through a Saturday night communiqué, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon directed chief minister Kamal Nath to seek a trust vote in the Assembly on Monday, days after 22 Congress legislators resigned en masse bringing the state government to the edge.

“I came to know that 22 MLAs have sent their resignations to the MP Assembly speaker and they have also informed about it on electronic and print media. I have seen the coverage on both media with attention,” the letter, dated March 14, said.

“They have also sent the letter to me separately on March 10, 2020 and the same MLAs have requested for security to present these resignation letters to the Vidhan Sabha speaker on March 13,” the Governor said.

“Under Article 174 and 175(2) of the Constitution, I am empowered to direct that the MP Assembly session will begin on March 16 at 11 am with my address. Soon after that the only work to be done is voting on trust vote,” he said in the letter.   

At the end of the letter, he wrote that the test must be conducted in any condition and shouldn’t be postponed, delayed or suspended. Earlier during the day, BJP leaders had alleged the Congress was attempting to stall the test.

The Governor rejected the Leader of Opposition's demand to hold the test before his address.

Meanwhile, Congress has issued whip to all its MLAs asking them to attend the Assembly from March 16 to April 13 and vote in favour of the government. The whip has been issued to 22 rebel MLAs who are camped in Bengaluru. 

Speaker Lalji has suspended 6 MLAs and accepted the resignation of 6 other MLAs who held the posts of ministers. 

The resignations accepted are that of Imarti Devi, Tulsi Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Pradyumn Singh Tomar and Prabhuram Chaudhari. They cannot take part in either the trust vote or in the Rajya Sabha elections to be held this month.

The MLAs have reportedly been shifted to Bhopal while some are housed in a different location, while others are lodged in Bengaluru resort.