Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday alleged that some AAP MLAs were offered money to topple his government and said a special session of the state Assembly is being convened on September 22 to seek a trust vote.
The AAP had earlier accused the saffron party of trying to bring down the Bhagwant Mann government by trying to break away MLAs through “cash inducements and threats”. However, the BJP has trashed the allegations, claiming that AAP is rattled as many of its legislators are unhappy since everything is controlled by Arvind Kejriwal from Delhi.
Punjab is not the only state where a non-BJP government wants to prove a majority. This is the third such instance in September.
Who Else Held Floor Tests?
Punjab has become the third non-BJP ruled state where a trust vote will be held this month. Earlier this month, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal moved trust motions in respective agencies alleging poaching attempts by the BJP to topple their governments.
On September 1, the Delhi Assembly passed the confidence motion moved by Kejriwal. As many as 58 MLAs voted in support of the motion as the BJP legislators walked out of the Assembly. Five days later on September 5, the Jharkhand Assembly passed the confidence motion tabled by Soren amid a walkout staged by BJP legislators. As many as 48 MLAs had voted in favour of the confidence motion in the 81-member Assembly.
Why These States Want to Prove Majority Despite Having Majority?
Punjab’s finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema has alleged that the BJP was using central agencies as well as money power to woo the AAP MLAs as part of its ‘Operation Lotus’, which in the past it has tried in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Delhi, and Rajasthan. It may be noted that the AAP registered a landslide victory in the Punjab Assembly elections held earlier this year, winning 92 out of total 117 seats.
In Jharkhand, Soren had said the need for trust vote was felt as BJP was “attempting to destabilise democratically elected governments” in non-BJP ruled states, including Jharkhand. He had alleged that the BJP was trying to create a “civil war-like situation in country by fuelling riots to win elections”. The political crisis in the state begun after the BJP sought Soren’s disqualification from the state Assembly in an office of profit case. Later, ruling coalition in Jharkhand shifted some of its MLAs to Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress- Rashtriya Janata Dal coalition enjoys an absolute majority in the 81-member House while the BJP has 26 MLAs.
The AAP government, which enjoys majority in Delhi, brought a trust vote in the Delhi Assembly, alleging that the BJP’s plan to topple Arvind Kejriwal government failed. Kejriwal had alleged that 12 of his MLAs in Delhi were approached with Rs 20 crore each by BJP. However, the BJP had said that the trust vote was just a “desperate ploy” to distract from the liquor excise and education scams.
The BJP has been attacking the AAP government over the now-scrapped excise policy in the national capital. The AAP has 62 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi assembly.
It has been observed traditionally that the Opposition demand the ruling parties to prove their majority. But in cases of Jharkhand, Delhi, and now Punjab, no such demand was made by the Opposition as the governments in these states enjoy full majority.
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