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July 21, 1999
Bansi Lal quits
Haryana Governor Mahabir Prasad today accepted the resignation of Chief Minister Bansi Lal and asked him to continue in office till alternative arrangements were made.
This was stated by a spokesman of the Raj Bhavan this afternoon.
The 38-month-old Haryana Vikas Party government bowed out of office today before seeking a confidence vote in the state assembly in the wake of a series of desertions by ministers and party legislators.
Instead of going to the assembly, which was to begin at 2: PM, the chief minister drove to the Raj Bhavan and tendered the resignation of his council of ministers to the governor.
As the assembly met for conducting business of the house scheduled for the day, Speaker Chhattar Singh Chauhan announced that the chief minister had resigned, and adjourned the house.
The Bansi Lal government was reduced to a minority following desertions by 18 HVP legislators, including 12 ministers, and withdrawal of support by four independents till last night.
The assembly had been summoned on the directive of the governor to enable the chief minister to seek the confidence of the house in the wake of withdrawal of support by the Congress.
The Congress had earlier bailed out the HVP government during the June 25 trial of strength when Bansi Lal had won the confidence vote by 55 to 33.
The strength of the HVP has now been reduced to 17 legislators.
In the 90-member house, with an effective strength of 89, the strength of other parties at present is: the Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal 22, Congress 12 and BJP 11. There are ten independents in the house of whom one supports the Congress.
Meanwhile, the HVP deserters today formed a new party called the Haryana Vikas Party (Democratic) in a bid to form an alternate government with the support of the INLD, BJP and the independents.
The Bansi Lal government had assumed office along with its BJP ally on May 11, 1996, after the assembly polls. The BJP parted ways with the HVP on June 22 last, accusing Bansi Lal of ''dictatorial behaviour.''
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