Orissa Governor MC Bhandare on Monday sent his report on the vote of confidence won by the BJD Government last week to the President of India. The Governor is also leaving for Delhi on Tuesday. During his visit to Delhi, the Governor may seek further legal opinion on the validity of the voice vote through which the confidence motion passed. The contents of the Governor’s report to president have been kept under wraps. The Congress and BJP have rejected the voice vote and sought the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
Meanwhile, chief minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to the Governor has elaborated the circumstances under which the confidence motion was passed by voice vote on March 11. The CM in his letter to the Governor has said, “As you are undoubtedly aware, the rules of the Orissa Legislative Assembly (OLA) provide for a mandatory voice vote for such motions. They also provide for a recording of individual member’s votes if and only if the voice vote is challenged and a division is demanded. There is no provision for the votes to be recorded in the absence of a challenge of the mandatory voice vote”.
The CM has further written, “Accordingly, the voice vote was conducted and it was overwhelmingly in favour of my Government. As per rules and practice, the Hon’ble Speaker declared and waited, but there was no challenge to it or demand for division to record the votes. Later, Congress and BJP MLAs walked out, leaving 81 MLAs supporting my Government in the House”.
The letter mentioned, “As you can understand, although we had a clear majority and were keen to have a recording of votes, there is no provision for us, as the winning side of the mandatory voice vote, to demand a division for the purpose. …..As you can see, I have fulfilled my constitutional duty by repeatedly proving my majority to you, including on the floor of the House in strict accordance with the OLA rules and precedents”.