A trust vote, which was scheduled to be held in the Delhi Assembly on Monday, 29 August, at the direction of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was postponed to Tuesday, 30 August, amid ruckus in the House.
The MLAs of both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held overnight protests at the Delhi Assembly.
The AAP held demonstrations against Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, whom the party accused of pressuring his employees to exchange demonetised notes worth Rs 1,400 crore in 2016, when he was the chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.
It also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was aware of the alleged corruption by Saxena but still appointed him the LG of the state.
The BJP, on the other hand, demanded the ouster of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain from the state Cabinet over alleged corruption charges.
"AAP MLAs demand that there should be an unbiased inquiry by the central government into the laundering of black money in Khadi Industries after demonetisation. We have decided to stay in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha at night, under the image of Mahatma Gandhi," AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had said ahead of the protest.
This comes amid a political slugfest in Delhi, with the BJP attacking the AAP over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the union territory's excise policy, and the latter levelling a series of allegations against the LG.
The Trust Vote
The trust vote had been tabled by the AAP, alleging that the BJP was trying to "topple" the Delhi government.
During the day's proceedings, Kejriwal said that the BJP's 'Operation Lotus' had failed in Delhi, adding that the saffron party would try the same tactics in Jharkhand in the next 10-15 days.
Challenging the BJP to "buy" even one AAP MLA, the Delhi CM said, "The confidence motion is to show that 'Operation Lotus' had been successful in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and other states but failed here in Delhi. It is also to show that every AAP MLA is hardcore honest."
AAP MLAs also demanded the resignation of the LG.
On the other hand, BJP legislators created a ruckus in the House as a mark of protest against the AAP and jumped into the well, after which they were marshalled out.
The motion for a vote of confidence was proposed by Kejriwal to prove that there are no defections from his party.
"I want to bring a Motion of Confidence in the Assembly so that it can be proved in front of the people of Delhi that the BJP's 'Operation Lotus Delhi' has become 'Operation Kichad'," the Delhi CM had said.
This comes days after Kejriwal, and other party leaders, claimed that the BJP had offered Rs 20 crore to several AAP legislators if they shifted their allegiance to the saffron party and even more if they managed to bring others along.
'LG Saxena Pressured Employees To Exchange Notes Worth Rs 1,400 Cr During Demonetisation'
Meanwhile, AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak alleged that the LG had "pressured" his employees to exchange demonetised notes worth Rs 1,400 crore in 2016, when he was the chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
"When he was KVIC chairman, demonetisation happened and a cashier working there has said in writing that he was forced to carry out the exchange of notes. It is unfortunate that he was suspended," Pathak said.
He also claimed that affected employees had issued statements and that there were news reports on the issue.
Demanding the LG's resignation, the AAP said, "In the Delhi branch alone, Rs 22 lakh was exchanged. There are 7,000 such branches across the country, which means there was a scam of Rs 1,400 crore."
'Tomorrow CBI Is Coming To See Our Bank Locker...': Manish Sisodia
Taking to Twitter, Delhi's Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Monday said, "Tomorrow CBI is coming to see our bank locker. Nothing was found in the 14-hour raid at my house on 19 August. Nothing will be found in the locker either. Welcome to CBI. I and my family will have full cooperation in the investigation."
Sisodia, who has been in the eye of a political and legal storm over the state's excise policy, had said that the saffron party had offered to make him their chief ministerial candidate and drop all cases against him if he agreed to "break the AAP."
The CBI had raided Sisodia's residence a few weeks ago in the case. He has been listed as the prime accused in a First Information Report (FIR) into the alleged excise policy scam, registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code related to criminal conspiracy, and provisions of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Kejriwal had said that Sisodia was being targeted due to the acclaim he had garnered after appearing on the front page of The New York Times for his efforts as Delhi's education minister.
On the other hand, Sisodia said that the 2024 general elections will be a contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi CM Kejriwal, adding that the former was afraid of the latter's rising popularity and was hence targeting the AAP constantly.
Last week, Kejriwal and other legislators had visited Rajghat in the national capital after a meeting at his residence, which was attended by 54 out of 62 AAP MLAs. Party spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had said that the remaining MLAs were out of town while Health Minister Satyendar Jain is in prison.
Kejriwal, who visited Rajghat to pray for the failure of the BJP's 'Operation Lotus', said, "I have heard they are trying to bribe 40 MLAs to cross over. I am happy that not a single MLA has given in."
He also claimed that the BJP had kept Rs 800 crore aside to "topple" the government in the national capital.
The AAP has 62 legislators in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, while the BJP has eight.
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