Raipur: The no-confidence motion moved by the opposition BJP against the Congress government in Chhattisgarh, where polls are due next year, was defeated by voice vote in the state Assembly on Thursday.
The House witnessed a stormy debate over the no-confidence motion as the opposition members targeted the Congress government over its “infighting”, Income Tax raids in the state, alleged corruption cases and non-fulfilment of its poll promises.
The treasury benches rejected the charges, claiming the opposition failed to come up with any concrete issues.
The BJP on Wednesday presented an 84-point “charge-sheet” against the state government during the 13-hour debate on the motion, which was defeated by voice vote after midnight around 1.15 am.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel termed the opposition’s charges as false and said his government makes welfare schemes “keeping an individual at the centre”.
Baghel said his government has worked in this direction to make the state free of malnutrition and provide quality education, health facilities and employment opportunities in the last three-and-half years.
Replying to the discussions, the chief minister hit out at the BJP, accusing it of indulging in vendetta politics.
“I respect central (investigating) agencies, but what if they work with a biased approach? In the National Herald case, your (BJP) intention is just to harass (Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi),” he said.
Why the Enforcement Directorate (ED) did not take action in the civil supply scam (unearthed during previous BJP government in Chhattisgarh led by Raman Singh) despite it having registered a case in this connection? the CM asked. “Over Rs 5,000 crore of the people of Chhattisgarh was looted by chit fund companies during the previous government. Why didn’t the ED probe it considering it a case of money laundering. I have written to the prime minister and finance minister seeking action in the chit fund case,” he said.
The Chhattisgarh government does not do politics of revenge, he said.
“It is Delhi (BJP government at the Centre) which is doing vendetta politics and indulging in horse trading,” he alleged.
Countering the BJP’s charges of rise in cases of conversion and no action being taken by the Congress government in Chhattisgarh, Baghel claimed that 95 per cent of churches in the state were built during the previous BJP government.
“The BJP should check how many churches were built during its 15-year rule (2003-2018). I can claim that 95 per cent of them was set up during their rule,” he said.
“The BJP had brought the anti-conversion bill in 2012 in the state. It was brought as conversions were taking place at that time,” the CM said, adding that his government will not allow peace and brotherhood to get disturbed in the state.
He further claimed that despite being in power for 15 years, the “BJP failed to understand the soul of Chhattisgarh, wishes of the people and dreams of our ancestors”.
When the Congress was elected to power in Chhattisgarh (in 2018), it received in legacy several problems, including 14 Naxal-hit districts, 18 per cent slums and 40 per cent poverty, Baghel remarked.
He said the Congress government has been working with a vision of a three-pronged strategy of “trust, development and security”.
Naxals are under pressure and shifting from Chhattisgarh to neighbouring states, Baghel claimed.
“The state government has been working with the idea of ‘Gadhbo Nava Chhattisgarh’ (creating a new Chhattisgarh). We took loans for the welfare schemes of farmers and people of the state. We make schemes keeping an individual at the centre,” he said.
“In 15 years of their (BJP) rule, they could not even build a better hospital and school,” the CM said.
Despite facing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the present Congress government took several steps to improve health facilities and education, he pointed out.
“We started Haat-Bazaar clinics in rural areas and a slum healthcare scheme in urban areas to provide healthcare facilities at the doorsteps. Besides, Swami Atmanand government English medium schools were set up which are getting a huge response,” he said.
Earlier speaking during the debate, Leader of Opposition Dharmlal Kaushik claimed the Congress regime has become a government of hollow promises and people have lost faith in it.
The Congress government failed to fulfil promises made in its Jan Ghoshna Patra (poll manifesto) and it is unfortunate that the convener (referring to minister TS Singh Deo) of the manifesto is not present in the House, he said.
Singh Deo on July 16 resigned from the panchayat and rural development department, one of the four portfolios held by him, claiming he was being sidelined.
Kaushik claimed there is not a single department where corruption is not taking place.
“When a minister (referring to Singh Deo) has himself expressed no confidence in the government, then how will the public have faith?” he said.
There is a situation of “internal differences” within the government, the BJP leader claimed.
The Congress made tall promises of waiving farm loans, but there are still 91,000 farmers who have been receiving notices to pay their debts, he said.
“The politics of appeasement is spoiling the atmosphere of the state. The law-and-order situation has completely collapsed in the state,” Kaushik further claimed.
After the discussion, the motion was defeated by voice vote.
Subsequently, Speaker Charan Das Mahant adjourned the Assembly sine die.
The winter session of the state Assembly is likely to be held in the second or third week of December, Mahant said.