Cong moves no-trust motion in MP Assembly; debate to continue
The debate, which started around 12.20 pm on Wednesday and saw several heated exchanges, lasted till 12.35 am on Thursday
The opposition Congress has moved a no-confidence motion against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government in Madhya Pradesh in the state Assembly, targeting it over issues such as corruption and atrocities against women and tribals.
The debate, which started around 12.20 pm on Wednesday and saw several heated exchanges, lasted till 12.35 am on Thursday.
Speaker Girish Gautam then adjourned the House till 11 am on Thursday, when the chief minister is likely to reply to the debate.
When Higher Education Minister Mohan Yadav was speaking against the no-confidence motion after midnight, Congress members demanded an apology from him for his alleged remarks made on Wednesday against Goddess Sita. When he refused to apologise, the Congress members staged a walkout.
Congress members led by former ministers Sajjan Singh Verma, Vijay Laxmi Sadho, Jaivardhan Singh, Jitu Patwari and PC Sharma among others staged a protest before the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises raising slogans like "Sita Maiya Ka Apmaan Nahi Sahega Hindustan" (India will not tolerate disrespect to Goddess Sita) and demanded that Yadav apologise for his comments.
Earlier, after the question hour on Wednesday, Leader of Opposition Govind Singh moved the no-confidence motion, which was admitted by the Speaker.
Opposition members targeted the BJP government over law and order, unemployment, inflation, corruption, 'discrimination' against the opposition legislators, atrocities against women and tribals, farmers' problems and other issues.
Heated arguments were seen between the ruling and opposition benches. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) MLAs rejected the charges, claiming the opposition has failed to come up with any concrete issues. Govind Singh alleged the state government under Chouhan has adopted a dictatorial attitude and ended the powers of the Panchayati Raj by snatching the powers of elected representatives and vesting them into officials.
The debt burden of the state government has gone up to Rs 4 lakh crore due to its wasteful ways, and the government still spent about Rs 15 crore only on releasing the cheetahs brought from Namibia, he alleged.
On one hand the government claims it has been helping farmers, and on the other hand it takes out more money from the farmers' pockets through taxation while citing rising diesel prices, he said.
The leader of opposition also pointed out the alleged nursing homes scam in the state.
In his reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra alleged misrule during the previous Congress regime.
He said six Naxalites carrying a reward of more than Rs one crore were either killed or arrested during the past one year in the state.
Claiming that law and order situation was sound in the state, he said dacoits have been eradicated under the BJP rule and the network of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has been destroyed.
As much as 21,000 acres of land worth Rs 15,000 crore has been freed from the clutches of the land mafia who thrived during the Congress rule, Mishra said.
A brief ruckus was witnessed when Mishra named Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while mentioning the latter's controversial remarks on the China-India conflict.
MLA Arif Masood stood up and said objectionable statements were also made against his community.
Later, talking to reporters, Mishra questioned state Congress chief Kamal Nath's absence in the House.
When BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma spoke about "Hamare Ram hai, Hamare Sita hai" (we have Ram and Sita) and asked the opposition members "who is your (Gods), Congress members including former ministers Sajjan Singh Verma, Jitu Patwari and Vijay Laxmi Sadho strongly objected.
The Congress members demanded an apology from Sharma, but Speaker Gautam said he had not said anything wrong.
Narottam Mishra too said that Sharma will not even utter a word of "Maafi" (apology).
Those who spoke in favour of the motion included former ministers P C Sharma, Priyavrat Singh, Kamleshwar Patel, Jitu Patwari and MLAs Laxman Singh and Arif Masood.
Prominent BJP members who spoke against the motion included ministers Pradyumna Singh Tomar, Dr Prabhuram Choudhary and Ramesh Sharma.