Haryana trust vote: CM Saini is a night watchman, says Congress - Hindustan Times
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Haryana trust vote: CM Saini is a night watchman, says Congress

By, Chandigarh
Mar 14, 2024 03:12 AM IST

In a dramatic turn of events on Tuesday morning, the BJP first severed its ties with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP).

The principal Opposition party, the Congress, kept the ruling BJP on its toes with a multi-cornered attack during the day-long special session of the Haryana assembly on Wednesday convened by one-day-old chief minister Nayab Singh Saini government to prove majority in the 90-member House.

Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly Bhupinder Singh Hooda speaks during the special session of the state assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly Bhupinder Singh Hooda speaks during the special session of the state assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

In a dramatic turn of events on Tuesday morning, the BJP first severed its ties with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). And later in the evening, Kurukshetra Lok Sabha MP Nayab Singh Saini was sworn in as chief minister, replacing Manohar Lal Khattar, who had been at the helm since October 26, 2014, when the BJP came to power for the first time in Haryana.

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The BJP government (41 MLAs) with support of six Independents and JJP (10 MLAs) abstaining from the House won the motion of confidence by voice vote. But the near four-hour-long noisy proceedings of the House were marked by sharp exchanges after the Opposition led by Congress strongman Bhupinder Singh Hooda launched a volley of attacks.

Read Here | Haryana politics: Break up in state, a strategy in play

The Congress in unison demanded “secret voting” to decide the fate of the Saini government. Hooda described Saini as “a night watchman” and Congress’ deputy leader Aftab Ahmed said the BJP was running a “jod tod ki sarkar”. Another Congress member Neeraj Sharma took digs at Khattar via the couplets of “Ramcharitmanas” and Shamsher Singh Gogi wanted to know if Khattar was performing well then why he was “sacked” and Saini, the son of a farmer, was “made a scapegoat” by the BJP.

Earlier, before CM Saini moved the motion, seeking vote of confidence and speaker Gian Chand Gupta fixed two hours for the debate, Congress sought to know the urgency of convening the assembly session and issuing directions at midnight.

Gupta, however, declined the plea and veteran Congress MLA Raghuvir Kadian opened the debate accusing the BJP of creating instability in Haryana.

Kadian claimed that the BJP has made Saini a scapegoat by appointing him CM to fight the anti-incumbency of Manohar Lal Khattar.

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“There was no emergency,” Hooda said while other Congress members Aftab Ahmed, BB Batra, Rao Dan Singh urged the speaker to adjourn the House for at least one hour so that legislators could reach the assembly.

“Saini as CM is a mere stop-gap arrangement. I dare Saini to dissolve the assembly and hold elections. Let people decide who has the numbers,” thundered Hooda, who minutes earlier while entering the House had tapped Saini on his shoulders, congratulating him on his elevation.

Hooda claimed that the BJP-JJP breakup was an eyewash and yet another quid pro quo. He said the JJP could not go against the BJP. He said testament to JJP’s dependence on BJP was its whip asking MLAs to “remain absent positively from the House at the time of voting on confidence motion.”

“People of Haryana will decide who will rule Haryana…You keep changing CM, we will change the government,” said Hooda, questioning the necessity of seeking trust vote.

Read Here: New Haryana CM Nayab Singh Saini sails through floor test

“People cannot be fooled…people know the real designs behind the BJP severing its ties with the JJP,” he said.

Kadian said when sarpanches came to seek their rights, they were lathicharged and that 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 have collapsed, unemployment is at its peak. President’s Rule should be imposed. I know 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 CM Manohar Lal Khattar and overnight a change of leadership happened. 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.”

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”.

Read Here | Day after resignation as CM, Khattar gets Lok Sabha poll ticket: ‘Grateful to PM Modi, JP Nadda’

“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.”

Geeta Bhukkal said the government owes an explanation to the House as to why the BJP walked out of the alliance with the JJP, while BB Batra said “corruption oozed out of the alliance” and demanded secret voting.

After the government won the trust vote, Congress MLA trooped towards the CM and exchanged pleasantries. Hooda shook hands with CM Saini and Khattar, who was sitting right to his successor.

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