CM Bhagwant Mann’s AAP government won today’s trust vote in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. 93 MLAs voted in favor of the confidence motion, according to Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan. There are 92 members of the AAP in the House.
BJP and Congress abstained. There was no vote by the Speaker (an AAP MLA). Manpreet Singh Ayali of the Akali Party and Dr Nachhatar Pal of the BSP voted for the motion, he said. Although the former denied it, the latter could not be reached despite several attempts. In a statement later that day, Punjab BSP chief Jasveer Singh Garhi denied their MLA had voted for the motion.
As part of a discussion on ‘Operation Lotus,’ Jalandhar MLA Sheetal Angural claimed that two lawyers had offered him Rs 25 crore for two senior BJP leaders (names have been expunged by the Speaker). Dinesh Kumar Chadha, a Ropar MLA, alleged that the Congress was selling its MLAs to the BJP.
According to Ayali, the motion was unnecessary. There are 92 MLAs in your party, and you have not been challenged. AAP MLAs should be made aware if the BJP attempted to lure them with money, as is alleged. There have been no names provided after such allegations were made by the Finance Minister more than 20 days ago.”
CM Bhagwant Mann concluded the session by saying: “A strong opposition is essential to a healthy democracy. Soundbites are all that Congress leaders care about. With your absence, you are denying lakhs of people a voice in Congress. As a team of 92, we are united in our mission to eliminate corruption and usher in a new era of clean democracy.”