AAP govt wins trust vote in Delhi Assembly, CM says no party MLA defected | Politics News – Business Standard


Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)

Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)

The Aam Aadmi Party government on Saturday won a trust vote in the 70-member Delhi Assembly with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claiming that his party has emerged as the biggest challenger to the BJP, which “wants to crush it by any means”.

Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of the AAP, won the confidence motion with the support of 54 MLAs and said no legislator of his party defected.

Out of 62 AAP MLAs in the Delhi Assembly, 54 were present in the House during the trust vote, two were in jail, two others were unwell, three were out of station and one was not present due to a wedding in his family, the AAP national convener said.

Kejriwal had moved the motion of confidence in the Assembly on Friday and accused the BJP of trying to poach his party’s MLAs.

Since seven of the eight BJP legislators were suspended for the remainder of the session for allegedly interfering during the Lieutenant Governor’s address on Thursday, Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri was the only opposition MLA who was present in the House during the trust vote.

He said there was no need for the confidence motion as the AAP government enjoys a majority in the House. “But the chief minister has lost the confidence of the people of Delhi,” Bidhuri said.

“There are many serious allegations of corruption against the government and it has failed on many fronts. Kejriwal and his minister Atishi are not cooperating with a police enquiry on the BJP’s complaint over their MLA poaching allegations,” the leader of the opposition said in the House.

On his part, the chief minister said the AAP government has a majority in the House but it needed to bring the motion of confidence because “the BJP was trying to poach party MLAs” and topple his government.

Kejriwal claimed his party will “free” the country from the BJP in 2029 even if the saffron party wins the Lok Sabha polls this year.

The AAP convener also alleged that the BJP was spreading a “rumour” that the Delhi Assembly will be dissolved after the Lok Sabha polls and the city will be governed as a Union Territory.

“This country is not anyone’s property. They cannot dissolve the Assembly just like that. I challenge the BJP to contest elections on this issue. The BJP should clarify whether they will dissolve the Assembly after Lok Sabha polls,” he said, asking the AAP MLAs to tell people that if they voted for the BJP, it would snatch their right to vote.

Kejriwal also accused the BJP of obstructing the works of his government by controlling the services and the bureaucracy.

“They claim to be Ram bhakt but they stopped medicines for the poor people in our hospitals. Lord Ram never said stop medicines for the poor people” the chief minister said, referring to the charge of substandard medicine being supplied to hospitals.

Kejriwal said he has faced attacks in the past, been slapped, got ink thrown on him and now the BJP wanted him to be arrested. “There are many Abhimanyus here who will come out of their Chakravuh of deceit,” he said referring to the epic Mahabharat.

Bidhuri claimed the AAP government brought the confidence motion to divert people’s attention from “scams” related to the Delhi Jal Board, panic buttons in buses, and medicine supplies in hospitals among others.

Kejriwal, however, charged that the ruling AAP was under attack from all sides by the BJP because it was not able to digest its defeat in Delhi.

“This kind of attack was never seen before. This is because the AAP has emerged as the biggest challenger to the BJP in the country. If the BJP faces any future threat from anyone, it is the Aam Aadmi Party and they want to crush the AAP by any means,” he said.

Earlier this week, the ongoing Budget session of the Delhi Assembly was extended till the first week of March, with Finance Minister Atishi citing a delay in budget finalisation due to certain reasons. The budget proposal was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for its approval on Thursday.

The BJP has alleged that Kejriwal has tried to use the budget “as his weapon to escape the investigation of the liquor scam”. Kejriwal has been summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 19.

Earlier in the day, a Delhi court granted an exemption to Kejriwal from personal appearance for the day in connection with a complaint filed by the ED against him over non-compliance with its summonses in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped excise policy.

Kejriwal told the court that he was unable to appear before it due to the ongoing Budget session of the Delhi Assembly.

Appearing for Kejriwal, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta told the court that the Delhi chief minister will appear before it in person on the next date of hearing. The court has adjourned the matter to March 16.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Feb 17 2024 | 8:02 PM IST


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