Sena, other allies will vote with the government in no-confidence motion, BJP issues whip to MPs
The Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were among the Opposition parties that moved the no-confidence motion on Wednesday, the first day of the monsoon session.india Updated: Jul 19, 2018 10:08 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident that the no-confidence motion moved against it will fail with even parties outside the broader National Democratic Alliance (NDA) grouping supporting the government on Friday as it faces the first floor test in Parliament in 15 years.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said allies of the BJP, such as the Shiv Sena, the Akali Dal, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and others would throw their weight behind the BJP, which, on its own has 273 MPs, enough to dismiss the challenge.
Interestingly, in 2003, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government faced a floor test in the last monsoon session before an election year.
“The NDA will be united in vote against the motion. You will see that even parties outside the NDA will give support to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When voting takes place at 6pm on Friday, it will be NDA plus,” Ananth Kumar told HT.
The signal is clear that the party, while taking disgruntled allies such as the Shiv Sena on board, will strive to get support from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the two regional powerhouses that are vehemently opposed to the Congress. However, BJD’s Lok Sabha leader Bhartruhari Mahatab said, “We are sitting in the Opposition and in the debate we will oppose the government.”
“Even if some of the fence-sitters opt to abstain from the voting or walk out, it will numerically benefit the ruling camp,” said another BJP functionary.
Kumar lashed out at the Congress for moving a no-confidence notice and added that as per the rules, the Telugu Desam Party’s notice might be finally accepted for debate as it was the first to serve it.
“Many opposition parties have brought no-confidence motions. From the government side, we are ready to give a befitting reply to this no-confidence motion. In the last four years, in one assembly poll after another, Prime Minister Modi has found overwhelming support. We are part of the government in 21 states. And after this sign of support, the Opposition has brought a notice. They have a right to do so in democracy but we are 100% sure we will defeat them with a huge margin,” added Kumar.
Opposition leaders maintained that even if the no-confidence motion is based on the unfulfilled promise of special package for Andhra Pradesh after the creation of Telangana , a wider range of issues will come up during the debate. Atrocities against people belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the government’s inability to generate job jobs, communal tension, and the Kashmir situation, will all be discussed, according to them.
Kumar said that the BJP has taken the challenge and will reply to all the “lies spread by the Opposition” with facts and figures.
He denied that the BJP did not allow the no-confidence motion to come up in the last session. “Accepting or not accepting any notice is the sole prerogative of the speaker. Also, please remember that AIADMK (which disrupted proceedings leading to frequent adjournments) is an independent party. They had genuine grievances on (the Cauvery) water (sharing) issue.”
The motion has been slated for debate at 11am on Friday.
The BJP, meanwhile, issued a whip to all its Lok Sabha members.
“I have issued a three line whip requesting all BJP Lok Sabha MP’s to be present positively in the House on July 19 and 20,” BJP Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha Anurag Thakur tweeted.
The opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress too have issued a whip to their members.
On being asked about oppositions shortfall numbers to pass the no-confidence vote, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament, “Who says we don’t have the numbers?”
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Jul 18, 2018 18:52 IST