The BJP-JJP government defeated the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress in the Haryana Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, after the motion was supported by 32 and opposed by 55 legislators.
The Congress had moved the motion earlier in the day, contending that the people have lost confidence in the Manohar Lal Khattar government over its stepmotherly treatment of farmers who have been protesting against the Centre’s agriculture laws near Delhi.
Despite speculations, JJP MLAs Ram Kumar Gautam and Devender Babli, who have been asking JJP to withdraw support from the government over the farm laws, voted against the motion. Gopal Kanda, the only MLA of the Haryana Lokhit party also voted against the motion, while extending his support to the government.
Even though the Congress, which has 31 MLAs in the 90-member Assembly had fewer chances of winning the no-confidence motion, the move was dubbed as a measure by the party to embarrass the BJP government over the farm laws and drum support for itself. The BJP, on the other hand, has a comfortable majority in the assembly – apart from having 40 MLAs, it has the support of 10 JJP MLAs and five independents. Two seats are vacant in the assembly, pegging the majority mark at 45.
Earlier in the day, the House discussed the no-confidence motion, with legislators from both the Congress and BJP-JJP alliance trying to put the other down.
During the discussion, Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Haryana was the only state which used force to stop farmers from protesting, which is their fundamental right.
Stating that the no-confidence motion will determine who stands with the farmers and who doesn’t, senior Congress leader Raghuvir Kadian said several villages have already boycotted the BJP and JJP for their anti-farmer stand.
“Entry boards have been put up outside villages banning entry of BJP and JJP leaders while Khap Panchayats have given social boycott calls. Never before in history has it happened before that the chief minister and deputy chief minister’s helicopters are not being allowed to land in villages,” Kadian said.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Chief Minister Khattar said the party has a long association with the term ‘no confidence’ and thus has no confidence in the government.
“Everybody knows about their no confidence with each other within the Congress. When you lose an election, you express no confidence on EVM. Evidences were sought when the surgical strike took place,” he said.
JJP chief Dushyant Chautala said the no confidence motion reflects the frustration among the Opposition and called it the party’s ploy to come to power.
“During Congress government, Hooda was CM. Who was slapped in Panipat? Ink was thrown on Arvind Kejriwal…You have just a slogan of ‘number one Haryana’. People brought you to third place in polls. BJP is our natural ally. Did we join hands with Congress ever? Congress wants power through no-confidence motion. Leave these sweet dreams of Mungeri Lal,” he said.
Countering the Congress’s allegations, the BJP also asked it to prove that force was used on farmers during the protests.
“Share proof of lathicharge…if we have named any farmer as Khalistani and Pakistani, then do share the names of such leaders,” said BJP MLA and minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar.
Strength-wise, the Congress has 31 MLAs, much below the majority mark of 45. That apart five of the seven independent MLAs support the government. Two seats are vacant.