Kejriwal govt wins confidence vote amid walkout by BJP legislators

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Delhi Assembly | Photo: ANI

New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly on Thursday passed the confidence motion tabled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even as five BJP MLAs staged a walkout after their party colleagues were marshalled out of the House over an argument with the deputy speaker.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he brought the motion to prove to the country that the BJP cannot buy Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and the saffron party's 'Operation Lotus' had "failed" in Delhi.

The AAP has 62 MLAs in the 70-member assembly. The remaining eight belong to the BJP.

There was no vote against the confidence motion as all the AAP MLAs present in the House voted in its favour as expected while all the BJP legislators were out of the House by then.

BJP MLAs Vijender Gupta, Abhay Verma and Mohan Singh Bisht were marshalled out following an argument with Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla, who did not heed their demand to take up their calling attention notices before a discussion on the confidence motion. The remaining five walked out in protest.

Birla later adjourned the House sine die.

Participating in the discussion on the confidence motion, Kejriwal said, "We have 62 MLAs, of which the Speaker (Ram Niwas Goel) is in Canada, Naresh Balyan is in Australia and Satyendar Jain is in jail. The rest are here and you can count the numbers."

He said he brought the motion to show that the BJP cannot buy his MLAs. Trying to project the AAP as an alternative to the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal said there are only two parties at the national level at present -- 'Kattar imaandar (hardcore honest) party and Kattar be-imaan (hardcore corrupt) party'.

On his party foraying into Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections, he said the AAP's vote share in that state had increased by four per cent after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids against his deputy Manish Sisodia.

This will increase further by two per cent "if Sisodia is arrested," he said.

"The CBI raided Sisodia, went to his village and even searched his bank locker. The CBI people said they did not find anything against Sisodia but are under pressure to arrest him," Kejriwal claimed.

He asserted that the probe agency could not gather anything substantial against Sisodia because he is a "pauper".

The prime minister has given a "certificate of honesty" to Sisodia and the AAP, he added.

Claiming that the country needed his party in power, Kejriwal said, "The 'hardcore corrupt' party lacks educated people, while the 'hardcore honest' party has those with good education, genuine IIT degrees."

"The 'hardcore corrupt' party spends money to buy MLAs. The 'hardcore honest' party spends money on construction of schools and hospitals," he added.

"While one party wants to make the world's richest person its best friend, the other wants to make India number one," he said comparing the BJP with his party.

Laying out his plans for students, Kejriwal said both his children studied at the Indian Institutes of Technology and he wanted to provide the "same education to every child in India".

Citing a study report released recently, the chief minister told reporters outside the Assembly that Delhi is considered the most unsafe place in the country for women.

"There should be no politics in law and order and safety of women in Delhi. We will extend all cooperation to the Lieutenant Governor and the Centre on this," he said.

On LG Vinai Kumar Saxena warning of legal action against the AAP for levelling allegations of corruption against him, Kejriwal said, "We should welcome any probe if we are in public life."


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