Haryana CM Nayab Saini wins floor test by voice vote - Hindustan Times
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Haryana CM Nayab Saini wins floor test by voice vote

Mar 13, 2024 02:23 PM IST

Speaker fixes two hours for debate on motion, former home minister Anil Vij present in House, while JJP MLAs heed to party whip, stay away from trust vote

A day after taking oath, Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini won the confidence motion by voice vote in the assembly on Wednesday.

Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini after moving the vote of confidence in the assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini after moving the vote of confidence in the assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta had fixed two hours for discussing the motion.

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Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) MLAs Devender Singh Babli, Ram Kumar Gautam, Ishwar Singh, Ram Niwas and Jogi Ram Sihag left the House when the confidence motion was taken up. Their party on Wednesday issued a whip, asking its 10 legislators to remain absent from the House during voting on the confidence motion.

Also read: Challenges galore before new Haryana CM Nayab Saini

Former state home minister Anil Vij, who skipped Saini’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, was present in the House. “I’m a bhakt (devotee) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Circumstances keep changing, but I’ve worked for the party in every situation. I will work today as well and with more power,” the six-time Ambala Cantt MLA said before leaving his hometown Ambala for Chandigarh.

A day after he skipped the oath-taking ceremony of new Haryana CM Nayab Singh Saini, former home minister Anil Vij heads to the assembly for the trust vote in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)
A day after he skipped the oath-taking ceremony of new Haryana CM Nayab Singh Saini, former home minister Anil Vij heads to the assembly for the trust vote in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Before the chief minister moved the motion, Congress MLAs sought to know from the Speaker about the urgency of convening the assembly session and issuing directions at midnight. “There was no emergency,” senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said and claimed that proper time was not given to the MLAs.

Congress MLAs BB Batra and Rao Dan Singh also questioned the urgency of convening the session.

Hooda urged the Speaker to adjourn the session for at least one hour so that legislators could reach the assembly. To this, the Speaker said it was the duty of the members to reach the House on time.

Gupta, however, said, “Let the discussion take place and in the meantime, the members can reach the House.”

Congress MLA Raghuvir Kadian opened the debate on the trust vote by accusing the BJP government of creating instability in Haryana. He said the party has made Saini a scapegoat by appointing him CM to fight the anti-incumbency factor in uncertain and “unstable times”.

Kadian said the plight of farmers in BJP rule was for all to see. “When sarpanches came to seek their right, they were lathicharged, ASHA workers had to take to the streets for their demands. The liquor scam, registry scam, cooperative scam took place during the BJP tenure. Corruption is rampant in all spheres. Law and order has collapsed, unemployment is at its peak. Does the government not have any responsibility towards its citizens? President’s rule should be imposed in the situation which prevails. We stand in opposition of this trust vote. I am saying if voting is held through secret ballot, at least five members from the treasury benches will oppose it,” said Kadian.

Rao Dan Singh said: “Just two days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praise on former chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and overnight a change of leadership happens. The reality is that people have made up their mind to oust the BJP government. The BJP knows that to beat anti-incumbency and failures on various fronts, it can experiment with leadership change as they have done this in some other states as well.”

Congress leader and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda speaking in the Haryana assembly during the voting on the confidence motion moved by chief minister Nayab Singh Saini in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)
Congress leader and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda speaking in the Haryana assembly during the voting on the confidence motion moved by chief minister Nayab Singh Saini in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

On snapping ties with the JJP, the Congress member said that people are wise enough to know that behind the scenes, the two parties are still hand-in-glove. “Whether you change the chief minister or break the alliance, the truth is that you have lost people’s trust,” Rao Dan Singh said, adding that “the government will come to know the reality if secret ballot voting is held.”

Hooda said the BJP has replaced Khattar with Saini as CM as a stop-gap arrangement. “Saini is a nightwatchman,” he said, asking him to recommend dissolution of the House and seek a fresh mandate. “People will decide who has the numbers,” Hooda said.

He said that the JJP whip to its MLAs to abstain from voting was a testament to the BJP-JJP still supporting each other. “ You keep changing the CM, we shall change this government,” Hooda added.

Minister JP Dalal praised Saini’s rise from a humble background, while minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, who is an Independent MLA, said Modi has become “Jannayak”. He said the situation is such in the Congress today that their leaders are disillusioned and leaving the party and many don’t want to contest.

In the 90-member assembly, the BJP has 41 members, and it also enjoys the support of six of the seven Independent MLAs as well as of the lone Haryana Lokhit Party legislator Gopal Kanda. The JJP has 10 MLAs in the House. The main opposition, Congress, has 30 MLAs, while the Indian National Lok Dal has one.

The BJP named Saini Haryana’s new chief minister on Tuesday, hours after the surprise resignation of Manohar Lal Khattar from the post along with his cabinet ministers. After taking oath in the evening, Saini said they had presented a letter of support of 48 MLAs to governor Bandaru Dattatreya and asked him to convene an assembly session on Wednesday for the BJP government to prove its majority in the House.

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