A day ahead of the debate on the no-confidence motion, which was accepted by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the first day of the Parliament’s Monsoon session, both the opposition and the ruling BJP engaged in hectic parleys to get the desired numbers in their support. Even though the ruling party is expected to […]

A day ahead of the debate on the no-confidence motion, which was accepted by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the first day of the Parliament’s Monsoon session, both the opposition and the ruling BJP engaged in hectic parleys to get the desired numbers in their support. Even though the ruling party is expected to defeat the motion by virtue of its numbers in the Lok Sabha, where it has 273 members and the NDA has 314 minus the Speaker, it will be a test of the strength of the united opposition as well as the cohesion between BJP and its allies ahead of the 2019 general elections.

As far as Thursday evening, among the major parties, Congress (48 MPs), TDP (15), TMC (34), NCP (7), CPI-M (9), AAP (4), RJD (4) and RSP (1) have confirmed their support for the no-confidence motion, which adds up to 122 members. If we consider other smaller parties that form the UPA, then this number goes up to 130 (Indian Union Muslim League – 2, JD(S) – 1, Kerala Congress (M) – 1, RLD – 1, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha – 2 and Revolutionary Socialist Party – 1).

TDP’s Anantapuramu MP J C Diwakar Reddy said he would stay away when the no-trust motion would be taken up for discussion. The majority mark, however, stands at 266 as 10 seats are vacant. BJD, with 19 MPs, TRS (11) and the Samajwadi Party (7) have not yet revealed their decsion.

However, in a major boost to the BJP, its sulking ally Shiv Sena, which has 18 MPS in the Lower House, said it would vote in favour of the saffron party on Friday after Amit Shah spoke to Uddhav Thackeray in the morning. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has also hinted his party AIADMK, the third largest party in the House with 37 MPs, might not back the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government. Details of independent MPs is not available.

The big question will be the decision of fence-sitters like BJD and AIADMK, who have been hobnobbing with the BJP but have so far not made their stand clear. On Thursday, the ruling BJD in Odisha kept up the suspense, saying it would reveal its stand on the no-confidence motion against the NDA on the floor of the Parliament.

As for the AIADMK, Palaniswami said no party had backed Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery issue during the Budget session, when its legislators had stalled Lok Sabha for nearly three weeks seeking the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee. “They (TDP) have moved the no-confidence motion for a problem concerning Andhra Pradesh. When AIADMK MPs from Tamil Nadu stalled Parliament (during the previous session), who did voice (support) for us, who came forward to solve the problems of Cauvery delta farmers. Which state came forward. No state did,” he said.

This will be the first no-confidence motion to be debated in the Lok Sabha in 15 years — in 2003, the then Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi had moved a no-trust motion against the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but it was defeated. The Opposition was protesting Prime Minister Vajpayee’s decision to re-induct George Fernandes as Defence Minister after he quit over an alleged defence corruption scandal.

Even though the NDA has sufficient number of MPs to defeat the motion, it will be a chance for the Opposition to corner the government on several issues, ranging from mob lynching to safety of women, Jammu and Kashmir to alleged dilution of the SC/ST law, plight of farmers to wary investors.

When asked what the Congress wanted to achieve through the no-confidence motion, senior leader Anand Sharma said, “It is to show the mirror to the government. It is not only a question of numbers. We will use the occasion to expose the government and raise various issues concerning the people of the country and tell the truth to the people. This is the launch of a campaign which will send them packing in 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said.


  • Lok Sabha speaker accepts no-confidence motion against Modi govt, debate and voting on Friday


  • Ruckus in Parliament by AIADMK is government-sponsored, says Congress

Source: Read Full Article