The BJP-JJP coalition government in Haryana on Wednesday defeated the Congress’ no-confidence motion in the state Assembly. The no-confidence motion was supported by 32 members, including all Congress MLAs, after over three hours of discussion. But all the BJP-JJP MLAs voted against the motion, which was finally opposed by 55 members.
Two JJP MLAs, Ram Kumar Gautam and Devender Babli, who had been vocal for their party to withdraw support from the BJP, also opposed the no-confidence motion.
The motion of no confidence against the BJP-JJP government, brought by the main opposition Congress, was on Wednesday taken up in the Haryana Assembly. As the debate on the motion started with the BJP and Congress legislators attacking each other, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta extended the two-hour discussion by an additional hour.
After the end of the Question Hour, the Speaker admitted the notice of no-confidence motion against the Council of Ministers and kept two hours were kept for discussion. Later, the Speaker extended the discussion on the no-confidence motion by an additional hour.
"I have received no-confidence motion from the Leader of Opposition (Bhupinder Singh Hooda) and 27 other Congress MLAs," the Speaker said.
Moving the no-confidence motion in the Assembly, Hooda said, "More than 250 farmers died on the border. I presented their names but I didn't find it in the newspaper." He said, "I don't want to talk about the farm legislations because it will be said that it is a central subject. But I am pained to see farmers sitting on roads at Delhi's borders. These are farmers from everywhere, all states. Nobody blocked traffic, yet the government used force on them, water canons, lathi charge, iron rods were used to hit farmers. The government must remember that even iron rods can't break a farmer's head.”
Hooda also attacked the Khattar government over Haryana’s reservation law being only for the private sector and unemployment in the state.
Highlighting the farmers’ protests, the Congress argued the three farm laws brought by the government were in favour of corporates. The BJP, on the other hand, accused the Congress of instigating the farmers’ protests and misleading farmers over the law.
“If deputy CM sees bloodstains of 250 farmers on his chair, he should resign,” said Raghubir Kadian, urging Dushyant and Naina Chautala to withdraw their support from BJP.
Speaking on the no-confidence motion, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the ruling BJP-JJP alliance will benefit from the motion, and not the Opposition.
Saying that “Whenever the administration believes it needs to take steps so that the law and order situation does not deteriorate, it does so,” Khattar asserted that they did not stop protesting farmers in Haryana using force as that would mean “use of lathi charge or opening gunfire.” Instead, they used water cannons and teargas, he said, adding, “Our patience should not be taken as our weakness.”
Khattar further said, “We shall never win the confidence of opposition but will win the confidence of masses. I request you to bring such motion after six months.”
Trying to assure that the government will protect farmers, he said, “I give a guarantee that mandis will not be shut down and MSP will also continue.”
Haryana Deputy CM and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala said the no-confidence motion pointed to a sign of frustration among the Opposition. Attacking the Congress, he said, “You have exposed yourself. First, they termed the farm laws as black laws. On the other hand, they admit they had made similar recommendations. Who gave land to Reliance after getting it acquired?”
Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said the Congress was responsible for the condition of farmers and the party was misleading the farmers. "If farmers' condition is such today, it is only because of the Congress that had ruled for a majority period. They are misleading people that these are black laws. They said mandis will shut down, they said MSP will be abolished, but they have not been able to quote even one such incident. They are misleading the naive farmers,” he said.
There was also a brief ruckus in the Assembly as BJP MLA Aseem Goel called Congress legislators ‘traitors’. "I salute farmers, but you all are traitors," he said, leading to the Opposition members getting into the Well of the House and Congress MLAs shouting slogans against the Manohar Lal government slogans. Following this, the Speaker asked them to go back to their seats and threatened to name them while asking Goel to sit down.
In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, currently having an effective strength of 88 members, the ruling BJP has 40 members, the JJP 10 and the Congress 30. Seven are Independents, five of whom are supporting the government, while one member is of the Haryana Lokhit Party, who has also extended support to the government.
Talking to reporters after the day's proceedings in the state assembly ended on Friday, Hooda had said, "The no-confidence motion will let people know which MLA stands with the government and which MLA stands with farmers."
He had said the party needed to move a no-confidence motion because the BJP-JJP government has "lost public confidence" and the coalition government, "betraying public opinion, is taking anti-people decisions one after the other".
(With PTI inputs)