Other States

Strength of M.P. Ministry exceeds Constitutional limit, says Congress

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha. File

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha. File   | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui

Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha has said the Congress will move the court as the strength of the Council of Ministers in Madhya Pradesh reportedly exceeds the prescribed limit.

On Thursday when 20 Cabinet Ministers and eight Ministers of State were included in the Council of Ministers, expanding it to 34, Mr. Tankha accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of violating the law.

Describing the Council of Ministers as “illegal”, Mr. Tankha wrote on Twitter, “By appointing as Ministers more than 15% of the effective strength of the legislators at 206 the law has been violated.”

Further, Mr. Tankha said that in the past it was only after complaining to the President that Mr. Chouhan, who ran a government without a Cabinet, appointed five Ministers, which was less than 12.

Also read: Shivraj Singh Chouhan says Central leadership ‘ordered’ fall of Congress govt. in Madhya Pradesh

State Congress spokesman Ajay Singh Yadav alleged the BJP government had violated Article 164 (1A) of the Constitution that prescribed, “The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State.”

While appealing to the President to take cognisance, Mr. Yadav contended, “With an Assembly strength of 206, the strength of the Council of Ministers shouldn’t have exceeded 30. The appointment of 34 Ministers, including Mr. Chouhan, is a clear violation of Constitutional rules.”

The Assembly strength of 228 dropped in March when 22 rebel Congress MLAs — 19 of them supporting Jyotiraditya Scindya — resigned, toppling the Kamal Nath government, and later switched over to the BJP. Two seats fell vacant earlier owing to deaths.

The expansion of Mr. Chouhan’s Council of Ministers was pending since he returned as the Chief Minister after 15 months on March 23. Nearly a month later, five Ministers were appointed.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 5:59:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/strength-of-mp-ministry-exceeds-constitutional-limit-says-congress/article31980230.ece

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