Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday tabled a confidence motion in the Assembly, saying BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ to poach AAP MLAs came a cropper as all legislators of the party were “hardcore honest”. The voting on the motion will take place on Tuesday at 11 am after the Assembly session was adjourned amid an uproar over corruption allegations levelled by an AAP MLA against Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, PTI reported.
The AAP alleged that LG Saxena pressured his employees to exchange demonetised currency notes worth Rs 1,400 crore in 2016 when he was the chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.
Earlier in the day, there was ruckus inside the Assembly after BJP MLAs demanded a discussion on multiple issues, inlcuding the Delhi excise policy in which CBI has named Delhi Deputy CM Manisha Sisodia as an accused.
All the BJP MLAs were subsequently marshalled out of the Assembly as they reached the well of the house.
Speaking in the Assembly, Kejriwal said, “The confidence motion is to show that ‘Operation Lotus’ could have been successful in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states but failed in Delhi. It is also to show that every AAP MLA is hardcore honest”.
The AAP chief also alleged that BJP would try to topple the Jharkhand government in the next 15 days. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s future is hanging in the balance amid reports that the Election Commission has recommended Governor Ramesh Bais to disqualify him for alleged violation of Representation of the People Act.
Kejriwal said the current NDA-led Central government was the “most corrupt” as it was “buying MLAs” by taxing the common people, while it is waiving loans of its billionaire friends.
“You say that you are against corruption but you are buying MLAs. This is the most corrupt (central) government. You will face the curse of the poor people. At some places they even paid Rs 50 crore,” Kejriwal said.
Last week, Kejriwal claimed that BJP had set aside Rs 800 crore for toppling the Delhi government by luring 40 AAP MLAs to its camp. Manish Sisodia also claimed that he was approached by the BJP with the offer to close all cases against him if he joined their party.
The AAP has 62 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, while the BJP has eight.
Kejriwal held the Centre responsible for price rise. “Even curd, lassi, wheat and honey have been taxed. This is something which didn’t happen in the last 75 years and even under the British rule. They are using this money to waive loans of their billionaire friends,” PTI quoted Kejriwal as saying.
Ahead of the session, BJP had alleged another scam in the education sector referring to a report of the Central Vigilance Commission.
Citing the CVC report sent to the Delhi government’s vigilance department in 2020 seeking comments for further investigation and action into construction of additional classrooms in city government schools, the BJP alleged that the AAP regime hiked the construction cost by Rs 326 crore — 53 per cent more than the original tender amount — without floating a new tender.
Reacting to the allegation, Kejriwal said the BJP was now focusing on classrooms as they failed to find any wrongdoing in the excise case.
“Yes, we constructed more toilets in government schools for our daughters. What wrong did we do? They did not find anything in the (CBI) raid but they will still arrest (Deputy Chief Minister Manish) Sisodia. Now the excise case is over so classrooms are in focus,” the Delhi CM said.
Last week, LG Saxena sought a report from the Delhi chief secretary over a delay of more than 2.5 years in acting on the CVC report.
Hitting out at the Kejriwal government for tabling the confidence motion, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari called it a “misuse of public money and resources”.
He said 62 of the 70 MLAs in the House belong to the AAP and yet they brought a confidence motion.
“What do you think of the people of Delhi? It is sheer misuse of public money and resources. If you have to bring a motion, then bring one on the corruption done in the construction of classrooms in schools,” Tiwari said.
In a tweet, BJP’s Amit Malviya questioned the need for the confidence motion. “Who has asked for a Confidence Motion in Delhi Assembly? No one. It is just a desperate ploy to distract from the liquor excise and education scams, somehow obfuscate truth. There is no threat to Kejriwal’s Govt. Question is – will media relent or wilt under pressure of ad money?” he tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)