BJP MLAs who were marshalled out of the Delhi Assembly for the entire day, ahead of the confidence motion tabled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, have accused the government of misusing the house, stating that they will take the matter to the President and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
The BJP MLAs were demanding a calling attention motion and a short discussion on various issues, including the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report on the construction of classrooms and excise policy among others. They came to the well of the House after Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla rejected their demand for calling attention motion. She then asked them to leave the House for the entire day and were later marshalled out.
“The assembly session has been called for discussing serious issues. The opposition members did not respect the House and had to be marshalled out,” Birla told the Assembly. Later, while tabling the motion, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the opposition party’s “Operation Lotus” to topple his government failed as it could not poach any of the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs. Every AAP MLA is a “hardcore honest legislator”, he claimed.
BJP MLA from Rohini, Vijender Gupta, said he had proposed the calling attention motion on the CVC report on construction of classrooms in government schools. “They (AAP) suppressed the report for two-and-a-half years and the Centre had no hand in it. Now, when it is out in the open, they say we are doing politics. We were marshalled out since the government is trying to escape from a discussion on the ongoing corruption cases,” Gupta told reporters outside the Assembly.
He said the AAP government neither wanted to talk on corruption nor wanted the opposition to raise the matter. “It is clear there was heavy corruption in the construction of classrooms. It was a confidential report that they didn’t allow to emerge since 2020,” he said. Reacting on confidence motion, Gupta said that was no point to it as the AAP has 62 of the total 70 MLAs.
Leader of opposition Ramvir Singh Biduri told the media that the Kejriwal government was scared to discuss the corruption charges against its own leaders.
“That is why the opposition is being constantly thrown out of the house. The AAP government is behaving in dictatorial and arbitrary way. All BJP MLAs will now approach the President regarding this matter and, we will raise the issue of continuous misuse of the house with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha,” Bidhuri told reporters.
“In the last 2.5 years since I have been a member, the Delhi government has not allowed discussion on various issues ranging from excise to pollution. Why are you suppressing the voice of the opposition? We have always said we will do constructive criticism, yet you don’t allow a discussion,” Bidhuri said.
While tabling the confidence motion, Kejriwal said that the opposition members did not want to hold discussions but they only indulge in theatrics. “It is sad that they (BJP MLAs) are doing cheap politics,” he said.
The AAP national convener also alleged that the BJP had targeted 40 AAP MLAs and offered ₹20 crore to each of them to switch sides.
The BJP had accused Kejriwal of using the assembly for fanning political propaganda and indulging in drama to divert people’s attention from the liquor “scam” of his government.
Meanwhile, the AAP MLAs are ready to stage an all-nighter on the Assembly premises, demanding probe against Lieutenant Governor (LG) V K Saxena for allegedly changing banned currency notes during his term as the KVIC chairman, party sources said.
This comes after AAP MLA on Monday Durgesh Pathak alleged in the Assembly that Saxena had pressured his employees to exchange demonetised notes worth ₹1,400 crore in 2016, when he was the chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
“We are going to stay overnight in the Delhi Assembly in protest and to demand a probe against the LG,” a source in the AAP said. Earlier in the day, Pathak also demanded a probe into the alleged scam.
(With inputs from agencies)