BJP government defeats no-confidence motion


A no-confidence motion against the Jai Ram Thakur-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in Himachal Pradesh was defeated by a voice vote in the Assembly on Thursday, PTI reported.

Twenty-two MLAs of the Congress and the lone legislator of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rakesh Singha had moved the motion. The voice vote was conducted at 4.50 pm after the Opposition MLAs walked out of the House during the chief minister’s reply to the motion, according to PTI.

Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, Congress MLAs Jagat Singh Negi, Ram Lal Thakur, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Sukhvinder Sukhu and Singha spoke in favour of the motion.

The chief minister along with his Cabinet colleagues Rakesh Pathania, Bikram Singh Thakur, Sukh Ram Chaudhary and BJP MLA Rajeev Bindal spoke in favour of the government.

In his speech, Agnihotri claimed that 354 murders, 1,574 rapes and 7,406 sexual harassment cases have so far been reported in the state under the Thakur-led government. He also targeted the government for not handing over an inquiry into a paper leak of a constable recruitment examination to the Central Bureau of Investigation even after the chief minister made an announcement.

Congress MLAs Negi and Sukhu criticised the chief minister for excessive use of choppers on government funds and the removal of Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Khachi.

In his reply, Thakur said that the state government had decided to hand over the paper leak inquiry to the CBI, but it cannot put pressure on the central agency to take the case. On the matter of removing, the chief secretary, he said that it was the prerogative of the state government.

The chief minister also criticised the Opposition for walking out during his reply to the motion, saying that it showed a lack of seriousness on their part, PTI reported.

In the 68-member House, the BJP has 43 MLAs, while the Congress has 22. Two of the legislators are Independent, while one belongs to the CPI(M).

Himachal Pradesh is scheduled to go to polls around November.

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