Kejriwal govt wins confidence vote amid walkout by BJP legislators

Delhi Assembly on Thursday passed the confidence motion tabled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even as five BJP MLAs staged a walkout after their party colleagues were marshalled out of the House over an argument with the deputy speaker.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he brought the motion to prove to the country that the BJP cannot buy Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and the saffron party’s ‘Operation Lotus’ had “failed” in Delhi.

The AAP has 62 MLAs in the 70-member assembly. The remaining eight belong to the BJP.

There was no vote against the confidence motion as all the AAP MLAs present in the House voted in its favour as expected while all the BJP legislators were out of the House by then.

BJP MLAs Vijender Gupta, Abhay Verma and Mohan Singh Bisht were marshalled out following an argument with Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla, who did not heed their demand to take up their calling attention notices before a discussion on the confidence motion. The remaining five walked out in protest.

Birla later adjourned the House sine die. Participating in the discussion on the confidence motion, Kejriwal said, “We have 62 MLAs, of which the Speaker (Ram Niwas Goel) is in Canada, Naresh Balyan is in Australia and Satyendar Jain is in jail. The rest are here and you can count the numbers.”

He said he brought the motion to show that the BJP cannot buy his MLAs. Trying to project the AAP as an alternative to the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal said there are only two parties at the national level at present — ‘Kattar imaandar (hardcore honest) party and Kattar be-imaan (hardcore corrupt) party’.