The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana faces a major political test on Wednesday as it faces a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition Congress claiming that the government had lost the ‘trust and confidence’ of the farmers. Though the numbers are stacked in favour of the BJP-lead alliance government, the farmers unions throwing their weight behind the Congress’s motion has raised political temperatures ahead of the vote.
The Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had moved the no-confidence motion claiming that the alliance government of the BJP and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) had lost the mandate to rule post the farmer’s agitation. Meanwhile, all the three parties, the BJP, the JJP and the Congress have issued whip to their MLAs to remain present in the house when the motion is taken up.
On the eve of the trust move, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait issued a video appeal asking MLAs across the party lines to vote against the BJP-JJP government. “Tomorrow will show who supports the farmers and who doesn’t. We even request the people of the State to put pressure on their representatives to vote for the motion,” said Tikait.
In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, currently having an effective strength of 88, the BJP has 40 while its alliance partner JJP 10. Five Independents also have extended their support to the government putting the numbers in favour of the government. But the Congress hopes to ‘earn’ some political points from the trust vote.
“The legislators of the ruling alliance cannot even move openly in their constituencies due to the farmer’s anger. Hasn’t the government already lost faith of the people of the state?,’’ questioned former chief minister Hooda.
Also, the JJP, which derives its support base essentially from the Jat/farmer community, finds itself in a tough position. But its leader and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala remains unfazed. “There is no threat to the government. We are a pro-farmer party and it was my promise that the MSP given on several crops in the State will remain untouched and that’s what I have ensured,” said Chautala.
Though all his legislators so far have stuck to their stand that they were with the government, they admit that pressure from the farmers on the ground was increasing. “The government will not fall. But we have to look ahead and take steps that bring the agitating farmers on board,” a JJP leader commented.