The ruling BJP in Haryana is expected to face a no-confidence motion in the assembly today. The opposition Congress has claimed that two Independent MLAs supporting the government have withdrawn support. The exercise, however, is seen as a plan to embarrass the government amid widespread anger over the Centre’s new farm laws. The BJP — which has an alliance with Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party — has claimed that there is no threat to the government. The Congress motion is likely to pile pressure on the JJP, with the Congress saying it is meant to reveal to the people which MLAs do not support the farmers’ cause. Members of the JJP have admitted that they are being boycotted by farmers in their constituencies.
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The BJP has 40 seats in the 90-member Haryana assembly. It also has the support of 10 JJP MLAs ad five independent legislators. The Congress has 31 seats. Two seats in the assembly are vacant and the majority mark stands at 45.
“Two Independent MLAs who were supporting the government have withdrawn their support. Some MLAs of their alliance party said this is the most corrupt government,” Congress’s former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has said. “We will get to know who stands with whom when we will bring in the no-confidence motion against the Manohar Lal Khattar government,” he added.
Chief Minister Mr Khattar has said there is no threat to the government. “There is no threat to the Haryana government, and it will last its full five-year term,” Mr Chautala was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
The Congress is seen as pushing ahead with the no-confidence motion to gain political mileage from the Haryana government’s tough stand on the farm laws. Mr Hooda said the government has lost support of the people for its “anti-people” decisions. It has also accused JJP of clinging to power at the cost of farmers, their key supporters.
Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala earlier said he would quit if unable to secure the farmers a guarantee for minimum support price, which is one of their two core demands. The JJP, which derives much of its support from farmers, fears that continuing support to the laws will hugely dent its vote-base. The JJP, which has 10 MLAs, had helped the BJP to power after the October 2020 election.
Later, after meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Amit Shah, Dushyant Chautala had said, “There is no threat to the Haryana government and it will last its full five-year term”.
Farmers in many parts of Haryana have said that they would boycott MLAs who are not supportive of their cause.
In February, Abhay Singh Chautala quit as the lone MLA of his party, the Indian National Lok Dal, in protest against the farm laws. He was later feted by farmers in his former constituency, Ellenabad, in Haryana’s Sirsa. His father and party chief, Om Prakash Chautala, a former Chief Minister of the state, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to scrap the laws.
In November, when the farmers started their march to Delhi, the Manohar Lal Khattar government had started a crackdown. The police had dug trenches on the road and countered the protesting farmers with batons, tear gas and water cannons.
The farmers are protesting against three laws that they fear will take away the Minimum Support Prices offered by the government and leave them open to manipulation by corporates. Though the Centre has repeatedly denied this, the farmers want the laws struck off.