The Congress’ no-confidence motion against the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Jannayak Janata Party-led government of Haryana was defeated in the state Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, NDTV reported. In the voting, 32 members supported the motion, while 55 of them opposed it, according to The Indian Express.
All MLAs of the Congress voted for the motion, while those belonging to the ruling BJP-JJP combine voted against it. However, JJP legislators Ram Kumar Gautam and Devender Babli criticised the government during the discussion on the motion, according to The Indian Express. Tohana MLA Babli took exception after the Speaker informed him that his name was not on the list of those allowed to speak.
Among Independent MLAs, Balraj Kundu from Meham and Sombir Sangwan from Charkhi Dadri spoke for the motion, but the numbers suggest that only one of them voted for it, as the Congress itself has 31 MLAs in the Assembly.
However, Nayan Pal Rawat, an Independent MLA from Prithla and Randhir Singh Gollen of Pundri spoke in favour of the government, The Indian Express reported. Haryana Lokhit Party MLA Gopal Kanda also supported the government during the discussion.
In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party has 40 seats, along with the support of 10 JJP MLAs and five Independent legislators. The Congress has 31 seats. Two seats in the Assembly are vacant and the majority mark is 45.
Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda moved the motion amid widespread anger over the new agricultural laws. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar while speaking in the Assembly on Wednesday, mocked the Opposition, saying they could bring a no-confidence motion every six months, News18 reported.
Ahead of the discussion and voting on the motion, the ruling dispensation had claimed there was no threat to their coalition government. “It will last its full five-year term,” Jannayak Janata Party chief Dushyant Chautala told PTI.
Chautala, who is the deputy chief minister, had in September said he would resign from his position if he was unable to secure the farmers a guarantee for minimum support price, which is one of their two core demands. Farmers in many parts of Haryana have said that they would boycott MLAs who are not supportive of their cause. For the JJP, this remains a cause of cause of concern, as these protestors form their core votebase.
In February, Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Singh Chautala quit as the lone MLA of his party in protest against the farm laws. His father and party chief, Om Prakash Chautala, had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to scrap the laws.
Farmers body supported no-confidence motion
Meanwhile, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions agitating against the farm laws, on Saturday had appealed to protestors to pressurise MLAs of the JJP and the BJP to vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against the Haryana government, reported the Hindustan Times. The outfit’s chief, Darshan Pal, had told people that the Khattar government needed to realise that the people are with the protestors.
Farmers in Haryana, who form a major chunk of the protestors, are particularly disillusioned by the state government. In November, when they began their march to Delhi, the Khattar-led government had launched a crackdown on the protestors, using batons and tear gas to stop them. Authorities in the state had also dug up trenches along the roads, and ambushed farmers with sprays of water cannon in biting cold temperatures.