The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi will table a confidence motion in the special assembly on Monday to prove that no AAP MLA has defected amid claims by the party that the BJP was trying to topple the government in the national capital.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had proposed a trust vote on Friday after alleging that the opposition party’s ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple his government failed as it could not poach any of the AAP MLAs.
“It is being said they (BJP) broke away a number of MLAs. I received phone calls, people asked me if everything is alright. I’d like to bring a confidence motion in House to show people that not even one went away, that the BJP’s Operation Lotus became ‘Operation Keechad’ here,” Kejriwal said in his speech in the House on Friday.
The AAP chief had alleged that the BJP had targeted 40 AAP MLAs and offered Rs 20 crore to each of them to switch sides.
The BJP dismissed his claims, saying that the party was trying to deflect attention from the ongoing CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the AAP government’s excise policy. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio and is an accused in the FIR registered by the CBI, had also claimed that he was offered the chief minister’s post by the BJP for switching sides.
PDT Achary, former secretary general of Lok Sabha said on Friday that normally a ‘no confidence’ motion is tabled in the House by the opposition when the ruling party is deemed to have lost majority. But the ruling party can also bring in a confidence motion in the House, he said. “The government can bring a confidence motion in House anytime. Normally, a no confidence motion is brought when the ruling party’s majority in the House is doubtful. Since the AAP has 62 out of the total 70 members in the House, it will easily establish its majority,” he told Hindustan Times.
The special assembly session on Friday was extended by a day after Kejriwal announced the confidence motion. “Taking the sense of the House, it was decided to extend the sitting of the House and take up the motion on Monday, 29th August 2022,” a bulletin of business issued by the Vidhan Sabha stated.
Leader of the opposition in Delhi assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said that the BJP MLAs will seek Sisodia’s resignation over the “excise scam.” “We will question the silence of the government on the excise scam worth thousands of crores. CM Arvind Kejriwal and AAP leaders have been making baseless claims that the BJP is trying to topple their government. It is just a diversionary tactic to take the attention away from the excise scam,” Bidhuri told HT.
AAP has 62 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi assembly. The BJP has eight and needs 28 more for a majority.
The session will begin at 11 am on Monday.
(With PTI inputs)