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Haryana: BJP dares opposition to parade its MLAs, says govt not averse to floor test

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Chandigarh, May 12 (PTI) With opposition parties claiming that the BJP government in Haryana has lost majority, the ruling party on Sunday dared them to parade their MLAs if they have the numbers.

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Former chief minister M L Khattar also indicated the BJP government was not averse to a floor test and that six of the ten Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) MLAs are with it.

After the withdrawal of support by three Independent MLAs to the BJP government in Haryana, the Congress has demanded its dismissal and fresh assembly elections under the President's rule.

The JJP, which parted ways with the BJP in March, has said it is ready to help the Congress bring down the government.

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Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini said his government had in March secured a vote of confidence. Asking the opposition to parade its MLAs, Saini said, "In future, when the time comes, we will again secure a vote of confidence".

Khattar, who was replying to questions from reporters in Karnal on the political situation in the state, said the Congress, which has 30 MLAs, should parade them before the governor.

He claimed the Congress is not sure whether they have all their MLAs onboard.

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"And you have seen what is happening in JJP," Khattar quipped, in an apparent reference to many JJP MLAs in recent weeks indicating their support to the BJP.

"It would have been better had they (opposition) not raised the issue. Now, when they have raised it we are saying let them parade their MLAs (to prove whether they have the numbers on their side)," said Khattar.

"Aur agar aapke (opposition) pass sankhya zyada hai toh Vidhan Sabha ke floor par test bhi hoga, sab hoga (and if they have the numbers, then a floor test will also be held," Khattar said.

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He said that Congress is scared that its 30 MLAs are not going to come for a floor test.

Asked how many JJP MLAs have met him in recent days, Khattar quipped, "You know I have talked to many. Six MLAs are with us." At the same time, he said, the Saini government secured the vote of confidence on March 13. Whether another trust vote is needed for six months or not, the matter is in the domain of the Governor and Assembly Speaker, he said.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Barala said the Saini government "is stable and will complete its full term".

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The government is ready for a floor test if it is held today or tomorrow, he told reporters.

Meanwhile, JJP chief Ajay Singh Chautala said his party has already said that it is ready to extend support to the Congress to bring down the minority government.

Asked about BJP's claim that many of the JJP MLAs are not with their party, Ajay Chautala said, "The MLAs cannot go outside the party whip. If they violate the whip then they will lose their (Assembly) membership".

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Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said after three Independent MLAs withdrew their support, it is the constitutional responsibility of the Governor that the minority government should be dismissed.

While Khattar was speaking to reporters in village Ghogripur in Karnal, Chief Minister Saini was speaking to reporters while campaigning door-to-door in Karnal.

Saini, who replaced Khattar as chief minister in March, is contesting the Karnal assembly bypolls after Khattar resigned from the seat. Khattar is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Karnal seat.

Three Independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri) and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) on Tuesday withdrew support to the BJP government in Haryana and announced they would back the Congress.

The Congress, JJP and the INLD have approached Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, seeking the dismissal of the "minority" government.

The Congress had on Friday submitted a memorandum addressed to the Haryana Governor with a demand to dismiss the "minority" BJP government in the state and order fresh elections under the President's rule.

The 90-member Haryana assembly at present has an effective strength of 88 with Karnal and Rania assembly seats being vacant.

The BJP has 40 members and the support of two Independents and the lone MLA of the Haryana Lokhit Party Gopal Kanda.

The Congress, in its memo addressed to the Governor, said, "It is crystal clear that 30 (Congress) +10 (Jannayak Janta Party)+1 (INLD)+3 (Independents who withdrew support) +1 (Independent Balraj Kundu) = 45 MLAs are opposing this government which is more than the 43 MLAs now supporting the Haryana government." PTI SUN RT RT

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