Haryana: Nayab Saini govt wins trust vote, ex-CM Khattar resigns as Karnal MLA

BJP government led by Nayab Singh Saini on Wednesday won the confidence motion by voice vote in the Haryana Assembly, a day after he took oath as the new chief minister.
Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini speaks as former CM Manohar Lal Khattar looks on during a special session of the state Assembly in Chandigarh, Wednesday, March 13, 2024.
Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini speaks as former CM Manohar Lal Khattar looks on during a special session of the state Assembly in Chandigarh, Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Chandigarh | The BJP government led by Nayab Singh Saini on Wednesday won the confidence motion by voice vote in the Haryana Assembly here, a day after he took oath as the new chief minister.

Soon after the Saini government won the trust vote during a special session of the assembly, his predecessor Manohar Lal Khattar said he was resigning as a member of the House. This announcement came amid speculation that he may contest the Lok Sabha polls from Karnal.

The MLAs of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was part of the previous Khattar government, left the House when the trust vote was taken up. The JJP had issued a whip, asking its 10 legislators to remain absent from the assembly during voting on the confidence motion.

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta put the confidence motion for voting by voice vote which the Saini government won. Former state home minister and senior BJP leader Anil Vij was present in the House.

During the voice vote, besides JJP's 10 MLAs, lone legislator of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) was also absent from the House.

Congress members asked Speaker Gupta to conduct voting through secret ballot but he refused saying there was no provision in the rules for the same.

Earlier, Saini moved a motion to seek a vote of confidence in the assembly. A two-hour discussion took place on the motion.

Speaking in the House, Saini said, "Our government not only has the trust of the MLAs, but we also have trust of people of Haryana."

In the 90-member state assembly, the BJP has 41 members, and it also enjoys the support of six of the seven independents as well as of lone Haryana Lokhit Party MLA Gopal Kanda. The main opposition Congress has 30 MLAs.

The BJP was comfortably placed in Haryana assembly even without the JJP's support.

Meanwhile, JJP chief Ajay Singh Chautala said his party worked with full honesty to fulfil the "gathbandhan (alliance) dharma" over the last four and half years and his party was never power hungry.

His statement came a day after JJP's alliance with the BJP ended with the national party replacing Khattar with Saini as the chief minister.

Chautala said his party had demanded two Lok Sabha seats in Haryana for the upcoming general elections, but was refused by the BJP.

The BJP named Saini as Haryana's new chief minister on Tuesday, hours after the surprise resignation of Khattar from the post along with his cabinet ministers.

During the discussion on the trust vote, Chief Minister Saini praised Khattar for the works undertaken during his nine-year-long tenure.

Saini also recalled his days when he was a member of the House during 2014-2019.

"During that time I was told that I had to contest Lok Sabha polls. At that time, I was a minister in the Haryana government. When the party desired that I contest LS polls, I abided by that.

"When the party entrusted me with the new responsibility, I am here to take up the latest assignment," he said.

The new chief minister said he came from an ordinary background and no other member from his family was in politics.

"The BJP gave me a great honour. The party made an ordinary member its state unit president and then entrusted responsibility of chief minister. This is possible only in the BJP," he said.

Praising Khattar, Saini said he has learnt a lot from him.

Under the leadership of Khattar, the state presented good governance model in the entire country. Several development works were undertaken by the Khattar dispensation, said Saini.

While announcing his resignation as MLA, Khattar, who represented the Karnal assembly seat, said newly appointed Chief Minister Saini will take care of the constituency now.

"During the past nine-and-a-half years, I have served as the Leader of the House. I will serve the people of Haryana till my last breath," Khattar said.

"Change is a part of life. Change happens in many ways," he added.

Before the chief minister moved the confidence motion, Congress MLAs sought to know from Speaker Gupta about the urgency of convening the assembly session.

"There was no emergency," senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said and claimed that proper time was not given to the MLAs.

Party MLA B B Batra asked, "What was the urgency of convening the session?" Hooda asked the Speaker to adjourn the session for at least one hour so that the legislators could reach the assembly. To this, the Speaker said it was the duty of the members to reach the House on time.

Gupta, however, said, "Let the discussion take place and in the meantime, the members can reach the House."

Participating in the discussion, Hooda said in 2019, the BJP formed government in alliance with the JJP. But the BJP-JJP government failed on all fronts and the BJP had to change its chief minister, he alleged.

The former Haryana chief minister said it is for the first time that a party (JJP) is issuing whip to its members to remain absent from the House. "What does this mean. This shows that both BJP and JJP are hand-in-glove," he said.

This is a stop-gap arrangement, he said, while claiming Saini is playing the role of "night watchman".

Don't deceive the public, dissolve the House and seek fresh mandate, demanded Hooda.

Congress MLA Raghuvir Singh Kadian opposed the trust vote and took on the state government over the issues of farmers' plight, law and order, unemployment, alleged liquor scam and cooperative scam.

Describing Chief Minister Saini as a gentle person, Kadian claimed the BJP leader has been made a "scapegoat" by being handed over the crown when the state was passing through "unstable times".

"President's rule should be imposed in the situation that prevails. We stand in opposition to this trust vote," the Congress MLA said.

After taking oath of office on Tuesday evening, Saini had said they presented a letter of support of 48 MLAs to the governor and asked him to convene an assembly session on Wednesday to prove majority in the House.

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