11 Mar :Amidst uproarious scenes, Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday won the vote of confidence in the state assembly by voice vote as Opposition staged a walk-out terming the exercise as "murder of democracy".
Strongly protesting the passage of the trust motion moved by the Chief Minister by voice vote "all of a sudden", members of Congress and BJP walked out of the house demanding division of votes on the crucial trial of strength.
The trust motion, moved in a special assembly session four days after BJP withdrew support to Naveen government following the collapse of BJD-BJP alliance over seat sharing in coming Lok Sabha polls, was passed in barely two hours of the proceedings.
Moving the motion, Patnaik said he enjoyed the support of more than 74 legislators in the 147-member assembly and was facing the floor test as directed by Governor M C Bhandare.
Terming the passage of the motion as "murder of democracy", Leader of BJP legislator party Biswabhushan Harichandan said his party wanted a division of votes but the whole exercise was handled in a hurried manner.
Congress deputy leader Narasingha Mishra said his party leaders, who were keen on division, would meet the Governor with their grievances.Refuting the opposition charges, the Chief Minister told reporters after adjournment of the House that when he moved the motion of confidence, the opposition took exception to the exercise saying it violated the model code of conduct since the state is in an election mode.
"When the motion was put to vote, none had asked for division. Therefore, the motion was passed by a voice vote," Patnaik said.Expressing similar views, BJD’s Chief Whip Bikram Arukh said, opposition parties never sought division as they were busy countering the confidence motion moved by the Chief Minister.
He claimed that BJD government would have sailed through comfortably even in the event of a division as it had the support of at least 81 MLAs.
Pandemonium erupted in the House when the Chief Minister moved the motion and spoke on achievements of his Government.
"As election dates have already been announced, the trust motion is likely to influence the voters’ mind," Narsingh Mishra said, asking the Speaker Kishore Mohanty to convene a meeting of all political parties to discuss the matter.
"Is this House not being used to influence the voters?" he asked, demanding that the Chief Minister’s speech be examined and portions that violated the model code be deleted.
BJP members trooped into the well demanding immediate disqualification of three MLAs who had resigned from the saffron party recently.
The ruling BJD, which has 61 members including the Speaker in the 147-member Assembly, had received the support of eight legislators belonging to JMM (4), NCP (2), CPI (1) and CPI-M (1).
In addition, seven of the eight independent members had also extended support, while another independent legislator, Sambhunath Nayak, decided to abstain from voting.
Congress has 38 members in the house, while BJP’s effective strength stood reduced from 32 to 29 after three of its legislators quit the party accusing it of deviating from its ideology.
The Chief Minister while introducing the trust vote in the House expressed his gratitude to the political parties which had extended support to his government after the BJP withdrew its support.
While Patnaik attacked the Centre and claimed that nine years of BJD rule demonstrated that it worked for development, progress and welfare of the people, Narsingh Mishra termed "listing of achievements as violation of model code of poll conduct".
Though the Speaker had given a ruling that none would say anything in the House that could influence the voters, the Chief Minister narrated everything related to achievements of his Government, he claimed.
As uproarious scenes continued, the motion was passed by a voice vote with ruling benches thumping the desks to mark the survival of the Naveen Patnaik Government.