The no-confidence motion moved by the opposition Congress against the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh was defeated by a voice vote in the state Assembly on Thursday with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launching an attack on the grand old party and its erstwhile dispensation headed by Kamal Nath for the “sins” it committed.
After the motion was defeated, Speaker Girish Goutam adjourned the winter session of the Assembly sine die ahead of its schedule.
The Congress had moved the motion on Wednesday, targeting the Chouhan government over law and order, unemployment, inflation, corruption, ‘discrimination’ against the opposition legislators, atrocities against women and tribals, farmers’ problems and other issues.
However, during his reply on the motion on the second day, CM Chouhan refuted all the charges against his government and said the Kamal Nath dispensation collapsed (in March 2020) due to the “five great sins” it committed, including corruption in transfers.
Leader of Opposition Dr Govind Singh who had moved the motion was not present in the House as his mother is unwell. Kamal Nath was also absent for both days during the discussion on the motion.
As the House assembled for the day, the Congress demanded an apology from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Rameshwar Sharma and higher education minister Mohan Yadav for their remarks on Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, and created a ruckus. They did not allow the chief minister Shirvaj Singh Chouhan to reply to the no-trust motion till they apologised for their remarks.
Legislative Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra later said, “Lord Ram and Goddess Sita belong to us as well as others. If any member of the House is hurt due to the remarks then I express regret over it. Mr Chouhan began his reply to the no-confidence motion. On Wednesday, a 12-hour long discussion was held on it which ended at 12.35 am on Thursday.
“The Congress’s Nath government committed five great sins, including corruption in the transfer-postings of collectors and superintendent of police (SPs), which led to its fall. It happened for the first time in the state’s history that money was taken for postings of collectors and SPs. In Datia, collectors were changed thrice during the tenure,” Mr Chouhan alleged.
In a span of 165 days, more than 450 Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Service officers were transferred and more than 15,000 transfers of other officials were done by the Congress government which turned the mantralaya into a “den of corruption”, he claimed.
Mr Chouhan also claimed that Nath had no time for his own MLAs when he was heading the government.
“Another great sin committed by that government was in the irrigation sector when it relaxed rules in favour of a particular contractor and made a payment of Rs 877.57 crore,” Mr Chouhan said.
The CM also said that the then government stopped many welfare schemes started by the previous BJP government, including payment of Rs 1,000 to tribals belonging to Baiga, Saharia and Bharia tribes.
When the opposition members created a ruckus over Mr Chouhan’s allegations and sought evidence, the CM said he had all the proof with him and was speaking in the House with full responsibility.
Another scheme the Nath government wound up was Sambal Yojana started by the BJP government. They also deleted the names of 75 lakh poor beneficiaries, he said.
CM Chouhan also pointed out the Nath government stopped the distribution of laptops to meritorious students. “What was their fault?” he asked.
However, Congress former minister Jitu Patwari objected to it and demanded to show whether any order to that effect is present with the government.
The Congress government also stopped the Prime Minister’s Jal Jeevan Mission meant for providing tap water in rural households by not contributing 50 per cent contribution to be made by the state government, Mr Chouhan said, adding that in the PM Awas Yojana also the then government surrendered provision for the construction of two lakh houses as it did not pay 40 per cent contribution.
Responding to the Congress’s charge that the Nath government collapsed because of the BJP, Mr Chouhan said that it fell as it disrespected Jyotiraditya Scindia (who became Union minister after joining BJP in 2020).
The MLAs who quit the Congress to join the BJP won by huge margins, including the ministers in the present government, he said.
Mr Chouhan said his government implemented the Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act in the state to ensure the development of tribal areas to protect their rights.
The CM also highlighted the measures taken by his government to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the Congress government’s loan waiver scheme, Mr Chouhan said Rahul Gandhi had promised that farm loans will be waived within 10 days of his party coming to power in the state. “But everybody knows what happened to that scheme,” he said.
The Congress members in the House, however, refuted the charge.
Mr Chouhan said that had the government implemented the scheme honestly, then the loan amount of Rs 53,000 crore could have been waived.
“But in reality, because of several conditions, a proposal to waive the loan of Rs 11,000 crore was processed and only Rs 7,000 crore were waived, which turned a large number of farmers defaulters,” he alleged.
Congress member Tarun Bhanot said the Chouhan government finally accepted that the Nath-led dispensation waived loan worth Rs 7,000 crore. To this, CM Chouhan termed it as a “lollipop” for farmers and assured that his government would take care of the dues.
He said his government has always maintained fiscal discipline and borrowed money as per rules for the development of infrastructure in the state.
After the chief minister’s reply to the motion, it was defeated by the voice vote and the speaker adjourned the session sine die.
The debate on the motion saw several heated exchanges. It started around 12.20 pm on Wednesday and continued till 12.35 am without a break, for more than 12 hours and ended with the walkout staged by the Congress legislators. A total of 45 members from both sides including 31 from the opposition camp and 14 including eight ministers from the ruling party took part.
The five-day Assembly session, which began Monday, was scheduled to conclude on December 23.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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