Bhagwant Mann govt wins confidence motion; Cong, BJP abstain


DW BUREAU / Chandigarh The Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government in Punjab on Monday won the vote of confidence, an expected outcome, with thumping majority as 91 AAP MLAs voted in support of the motion. The confidence motion, which was moved by CM Mann on September 27 after the ruling party accused the BJP of trying to topple the state government, saw main opposition Congress abstaining during the voting. The BJP already announced to boycott the assembly session as it had accused the AAP government of violating the Constitution by bringing the confidence motion in the assembly. Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the House demanding zero hour. During the discussion on confidence motion, AAP MLAs hit out at the BJP, saying after Delhi their "Operation Lotus", a bid to topple the government, also failed in Punjab. After a lengthy discussion on the motion, Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan put it to vote in the House on the concluding day of brief session. He asked MLAs to raise hands who were in support of, and then asked those who were against the motion of confidence. Announcing the results, Speaker said 91 AAP MLAs supported the motion. He also said one of the three SAD MLAs who was present in the House and a lone BSP MLA "did not oppose the motion". No Congress, BJP or lone Independent MLA was present in the House at the time of voting. "So, 93 MLAs have supported the motion and none is against it. Thus, the motion is unanimously passed," the Speaker said. In the 117-member Assembly, the AAP has 92 MLAs, including the Speaker, Congress 18, SAD 3, BJP 2, BSP 1 while 1 is an Independent. Later, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali, who was present during the voting, said he had opposed the motion. He also said that he informed the Speaker about his decision. The SAD legislature wing said it opposed the confidence motion, asserting that it (motion) was a farce and that there were other urgent issues which should have been taken up for discussion. The AAP had earlier claimed that at least 10 of its MLAs were approached by the BJP with an offer of Rs 25 crore to each of them in a bid to topple the six-month-old government under its "Operation Lotus". As the discussion began on the motion, Congress MLAs staged a walkout as they were demanding that the Speaker should allot them time to speak and raise issues during the Zero Hour. The two BJP MLAs ? Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan -- have been boycotting the session. The confidence motion was moved by Mann on the opening day of the assembly session and then he targeted the BJP over its alleged "Operation Lotus" and the Congress for allegedly being hand-in-glove with the saffron party. (


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