Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday won a trust motion by voice vote but Opposition leaders rejected the victory as ‘manipulation’ prompting Governor M C Bhandare to seek video recording of the proceedings of the special session of the assembly.
Bhandare asked the Speaker’s office to furnish the video recordings shortly after leaders of opposition Congress and BJP walked out of the house and met him saying they wanted a division in the crucial trial of strength.
The two parties asked Bhandare to dismiss the government and recommend imposition of President’s Rule.
Meanwhile,on the number of members who supported the motion,Speaker Kishore Mohanty said 81 MLAs in the 147-member house were present after the opposition walked out.
“The governor has asked us to furnish video records of the proceedings and also wanted to know if there is any past record about a trust motion being passed by voice vote,” he said.
The trust motion,moved four days after withdrawal of BJP’s support to the government following collapse of the BJD-BJP alliance over seat-sharing in the coming polls,was passed in barely two hours amid uproar,with Congress and BJP members storming the well.
Though the Speaker’s office claimed that 81 members in support of the motion included BJD’s 61,JMM’s four,NCP’s two,CPI’s one and CPI-M’s one besides seven Independents and five from BJP,including three who had quit recently,opposition leaders questioned its veracity.
Government Chief Whip Bikram Keshari Arukh also claimed that the motion was backed by 81 members.
The voice vote was taken up when opposition members were against the motion terming it as violative of the Model Code of Conduct as election dates had been declared.
Though Congress leaders rejected the voice vote as ‘murder of democracy’,some in the BJP camp claimed Congressmen allegedly created a situation deliberately to pave the way for passage of the motion by voice vote as part of ‘a deal’ with the ruling BJD.
“Indirectly Congress members helped BJD to sail through without even discussion on the trust motion,” said a saffron leader requesting anonymity.
Refuting the charge,the chief minister said,”When the motion was put to vote,none sought division and it was passed by voice vote.”
However,senior Congress member and former chief minister J B Patnaik said “we are totally dissatisfied in the manner in which the government won the trust vote.”
Speaking in a similar vein,Congress deputy leader in the house Narsingh Mishra said “a trust vote is never conducted by voice vote. It is always recorded. Had there been proper voting,the government would have lost.”
Dismissing Mishra’s contention,BJD leader and Energy Minister S N Patra said “the opposition allegation is simply an afterthought”.
Noisy scenes erupted in the house when the chief minister moved the motion and spoke on achievements of his government with the opposition terming it as violative of the Model Code of Conduct.
“As election dates had already been announced the trust motion is likely to influence the voters mind,” Mishra said asking the speaker to convene a meeting of all political parties to discuss the matter before the motion was taken up.
“Is this house not being used to influence the voters” he said,demanding that the Patnaik’s speech be examined and necessary portions expunged.
BJP members also trooped to the well demanding immediate disqualification of three MLAs who had recently resigned from their party.