On the last day of the monsoon session of the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha, the opposition Congress moved a no-confidence motion with a 15-point “chargesheet” against the BJP government.
With the BJP having a clear majority, the motion was set to fail. However, with debates going on late into the night, the Congress got a chance to bring to light “inadequacies” of the Raman Singh government.
In the “chargesheet”, the Congress said that despite the BJP being in power for 15 years, the state of farmers had become worse, the government had no control over the Maoist problem, and government machinery was besieged by rampant corruption. BJP ministers countered with schemes the government had launched, and questioned the decision to bring a no-confidence motion.
This is the third no-confidence motion the BJP government has faced in this term, with the last falling after a 19-hour discussion on charges made by the Congress.
The BJP has 49 seats in a 90-member Assembly. While the Congress began with 39 in 2013, that number has virtually come down to 36, with MLA Amit Jogi joining the newly formed Chhattisgarh Janata Congress founded by his father Ajit Jogi, which also has the support of MLAs Siyaram Kaushik and R K Rai. In fact, on Wednesday, T S Singhdeo, Leader of Congress in Vidhan Sabha, wrote to Speaker Gauri Shankar Agrawal, asking that the three MLAs be disqualified under the anti-defection law.
On Friday, former CM Ajit Jogi went to the Election Commission in Delhi to apply for an election symbol. Party officials said they had prioritised the symbol of a farmer tilling fields, and selected a coconut symbol as an option. Jogi and his supporters then held a silent march to the Prime Minister’s residence, questioning governance in the state, but were arrested before they could reach the PM’s residence. Elections are due in Chhattisgarh in six months.