The Opposition parties are expected to raise a number of issues, including corruption, unemployment and the state of the economy, falling rupee, rising fuel prices, women’s security and incidents of lynching.

Of the eight hours allotted to the debate, the BJP will get three-and-a-half hours and the party’s list of speakers will be cleared by party chief Amit Shah. However, the debate is likely to be extended as 37 political parties are scheduled to speak.

Ahead of the trust vote, the strength of the Lok Sabha went down further as Speaker Sumitra Mahajn accepted the resignations of former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda and Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress (M) who have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. The effective strength of the Lok Sabha is now reduced to 533 and the majority mark is 267. The BJP has 273 MPs and the NDA numbers add up to 314, including Shiv Sena’s 18 members. The party has indicated that it will support the Modi government.

Math weak: Minister

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar taunted the Opposition on its claim of numbers. “Soniaji’s math is weak. They [Congress] had calculated similarly in 1996. We know what happened then. The Modi government has the majority both inside and outside Parliament,” he said.

Apart from launching a strong attack, the debate is also an opportunity for the NDA and the UPA to reach out to political parties and present a united face. And that’s why both groups are trying to woo parties like the AIADMK (37 MPs), Biju Janata Dal (19 MPs) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (11 MPs).

While the AIADMK and the TRS are not expected to go against the Modi government, sources say the UPA has reached out to the BJD chief and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik for his support.

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