BJP govt in Haryana may need JJP to abstain in case of trust vote - Hindustan Times
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BJP govt in Haryana may need JJP to abstain in case of trust vote

By, Chandigarh
May 08, 2024 12:07 PM IST

In fact, JJP’s abstention may prove crucial if the Opposition, Congress, pushes for convening an assembly session and moves a motion expressing want of confidence in the BJP-led ministry

With three Independent MLAs backing the minority BJP government in Haryana withdrawing their support to the ruling party, the BJP may need its former alliance partner, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) to abstain from voting in the state assembly if the opposition seeks to move a motion of no confidence in the state assembly.

The BJP and the JJP had joined hands in 2019 to form the government after the former fell short of winning a simple majority. (HT File)
The BJP and the JJP had joined hands in 2019 to form the government after the former fell short of winning a simple majority. (HT File)

In fact, JJP’s abstention may prove crucial if the Opposition, Congress, pushes for convening an assembly session and moves a motion expressing want of confidence in the BJP-led ministry.

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The BJP and the JJP had joined hands in 2019 to form the government after the former fell short of winning a simple majority. The two alliance partners had severed their ties on March 12 after remaining in power for over four years, thus making the BJP dependent on the support of six Independent MLAs and lone Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) legislator Gopal Kanda.

The Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was instrumental in getting the three Independent MLs to withdraw support to the BJP, said chief minister Nayab Singh Saini should resign because the BJP has lost the mandate. “We demand the imposition of President’s rule in the state,’’ he added.

His son Deepender Hooda, a Rajya Sabha MP, said the BJP government is now in the minority. The five-year term of the present assembly ends on November 3 and the elections are expected to be held in October.

Can a motion of no confidence be brought before six months?

Since the intervening period between holding two sessions of the state assembly, as per the Constitution, should be less than six months, the governor will have to summon the House before September 13.

“However, the six-month stipulation need not apply if a motion of no confidence motion is sought by the opposition. There has been instance when multiple no confidence motions have been brought in the legislatures well before the six months of the motion being first moved,” said former additional secretary of Haryana assembly, Ram Narain Yadav.

Experts said that the Governor can also use his discretionary powers under Article 163 (1) and ask the government to prove its majority.

Constitutional experts also said that there is a difference between seeking vote of confidence (which chief minister Nayab Saini sought on March 13) and a motion of no confidence (which the opposition moved in February’s budget session).

Present situation in House

As of now, the BJP has 40 MLAs in the 88-member assembly. Of the 90 seats in the House, Karnal and Rania assembly seats have fallen vacant due to the resignation of former chief minister ML Khattar and independent MLA Ranjit Singh Chutala.

So, going by the 88 MLAs in the House, the BJP would need 45 to pass the floor test. The BJP with 40 MLAs can still count on the support of Independent MLAs from Prithla and Badshahpur, Nayan Pal Rawat and Rakesh Daulatabad besides Gopal Kanda of the HLP. However, even then it would get them to the 43 mark, two short of a simple majority.

Complicated equation

Of the 10 JJP MLAs, family members of two legislators, including Ram Karan Kala and Ishwar Singh, have joined the Congress while Jogi Ram Sihag has announced that he would campaign for the BJP. A couple of JJP MLAs like Devender Babli and Ram Kumar Gautam who are exploring ticket opportunities for the assembly elections are in touch with the BJP leadership.

Political experts said the JJP which had abstained from voting during the March 13 vote of confidence sought by the newly formed Nayab Singh Saini government can again resort to abstention. Even if three JJP MLAs abstain from voting in the House, it would bring down the number of MLAs present and vote to 85 and make it easy for the BJP to win the trust vote with even 43 MLAs.

Haryana BJP leader Jawahar Yadav said there was no danger to the BJP government. “ The government has the numbers. The Nayab Saini government won a vote of confidence on March 13. If a situation arises where the government has to prove its majority, we will do it emphatically on the floor of the House,’’ Yadav said.

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