Punjab CM Mann moves confidence motion, accuses Congress of supporting BJP's 'Operation Lotus'

Two BJP MLAs -- Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan -- had earlier walked out of the House after Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan announced Mann would move the confidence motion.
AAP leader and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. (File Photo | PTI)
AAP leader and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. (File Photo | PTI)

CHANDIGARH: Bedlam prevailed in the special assembly session called on Tuesday by Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann as he moved a confidence motion and slammed Congress for supporting BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus.’

The Congress urged Governor Banwarilal Purohit to censure Mann for “misleading” the House and the governor on the confidence motion, demanding that a case should be registered against the CM. After moving the confidence motion, Mann alleged that Congress was supporting ‘Operation Lotus’ and that its MLAs had run away from the discussion. He justified the motion alleging attempts to topple the elected government.

“BJP is using the anti-defection law as a tool to form a government in the state. Congress supports it,’’ Mann said. “Three crore people of Punjab have faith in us. I have faith in my 91 soldiers (MLAs),’’ he said. “The Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo yatra’ does not touch Gujarat and Himachal to give an advantage to the BJP in the poll-bound states,” Mann said.

Congress MLAs protested when Mann brought the confidence motion, saying it was not on the agenda of the Business Advisory Committee meeting. The House proceedings saw disruptions and adjournments after which Congress MLAs were bundled out. They staged a protest outside the House.

Meanwhile, two BJP MLAs Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan walked out against the confidence motion. Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa opposed the trust vote. “The government summoned the assembly session against the constitutional provisions.

The governor had rightly disallowed it. However, the government was hell-bent on holding the session though there was no immediate need or emergency for it,’’ said Bajwa, adding that instead of taking up the issues affecting the state, the AAP government preferred to bring in the confidence motion. He urged the governor to censure the CM for “misleading” the House, demanding that an FIR be registered against Mann.

Addressing the mock session outside the House, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said the government move amounted to the “murder of democracy” as it has challenged the Governor in calling such a motion.

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