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Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann tables confidence motion in Assembly: ‘AAP MLAs not available for sale in market’

Earlier, the Speaker had said the voting on the motion will take place on October 3.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann at the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday (Express Photo)

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday tabled a confidence motion in the Assembly. Earlier, the Speaker had said the voting on the motion will take place on October 3.

Mann while speaking in the House said, “I have seen in Vidhan Sabha that Opposition leaders have started taking pride in not allowing the House to function. This is not in the spirit of democracy.”

Mann was speaking in the absence of Congress members, who left the House after the Speaker suspended them from Tuesday’s proceedings for protesting in the Well of the House. “Efforts are on to buy out our MLAs. We had thought the Congress would stand by us in the face of all these efforts. However, they appear to be supporting Operation Lotus by not allowing the Vidhan Sabha to function.” ‘Operation Lotus’ is a term used by opposition parties to accuse the BJP of attempting to buy MLAs from other parties.

“In Punjab, they (BJP) were calling our MLAs and asking their price. Why do they want their government everywhere?” Mann alleged.

“Our members are not available for sale in the market. That is why we have tabled the confidence motion. Just to show that people have confidence in us,” the CM added. “We have to table confidence motion because the BJP has started buying the trust,” Mann said.

Hitting out at former Punjab CM and Congress leader Charanjit Channi, Mann said, “I want to ask him about several files. Why has he run away? Why can’t he meet me for the transfer of power?”

He also accused the Congress of having a “quid pro quo” with the BJP. “The Bharat Jodo Yatra does not pass through the states which are set to see elections. They want BJP to come to power so that AAP’s prospects are affected. But nobody can stop AAP… rivers cannot be plugged,” Mann said.

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The Assembly session, which began on a stormy note Tuesday, saw Leader of Opposition from the Congress, Partap Bajwa, calling the confidence motion “illegal”. Opposition members protested as Mann stood up to table the motion. Following this, the House was adjourned for 15 minutes.

Punjab Cabinet minister Aman Arora accused LoP Bajwa, Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira and BJP’s Ashwani Sharma of trying to pressure the Governor to cancel the special session of the Assembly.

Arora added, “The AAP government enjoys brute majority with 92 MLAs in the 117-member House, but the BJP and its government at the Centre made attempts to topple the government in the state.”

CM Mann, too, hit out at the protesting Congress members, “Those who are teaching us rules should educate themselves that any motion can be tabled in the House with permission from the chair. They could not protect their own rights in Rajasthan, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. What is your loss if Operation Lotus fails?”

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Earlier in the session, BJP MLAs Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan walked out of the House to protest against the non-representation of the BJP in the business advisory committee.

First published on: 27-09-2022 at 12:42:18 pm
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