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Taking no-trust vote head on paved way for smooth monsoon session: Ministers

The Telugu Desam Party sponsored no-trust motion, which the Congress and some others supported, was admitted on July 18 and a vote happened on 20.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2018 23:28 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Parliament monsoon session 2018,Monsoon session,No confidence motion
Home minister Rajnath Singh with Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqavi at Parliament House, in New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

The decision to take head-on, the opposition’s no-trust vote on day one paved the way for a “productive” monsoon session in which the government also pushed two key legislations that directly affects over 50% of the country’s population, two union ministers said.

The Telugu Desam Party sponsored no-trust motion, which the Congress and some others supported, was admitted on July 18 and a vote happened on 20. “It was a surprise move,” the first minister said on condition of anonymity. “It robbed the opposition of any excuse to hold the house hostage during the session.”

“Some of us believe that the demand for a no-trust vote should have been accepted in the last session itself,” the second minister said.

The TDP and the YSR Congress Party made several attempts to push a no-trust notice against the Narendra Modi government last session, but it could not be taken up because of protest inside the house by the AIADMK and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti on different issues. Some opposition parties accused the BJP of blocking the vote by citing the protest by these two parties as an excuse. While the AIADMK stood with the government on July 20 voting on opposition’s motion, the TRS abstained.

“Once the no trust motion was defeated by huge margin, it dampened the spirits in the opposition camp,” the second minister said. “We were upbeat.”

The government moved swiftly and turned its focus on two key legislations that may have a bearing on the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

A bill to provide constitutional status to the national commission of backward classes and another to restore the original provisions of an act to prevent atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes got parliamentary approval in the monsoon session.

“The monsoon session will be known for (its) social harmony initiatives,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared at the weekly meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary party on August 7. At the same meeting, BJP MPs were given a task to observe social harmony fortnight between August 15 and 30.

Neelanjan Sircar of the Centre for Policy Research says there is a potential threat for the BJP from a combined opposition and, thus, it was necessary for the ruling party to try getting more acceptance from its non-traditional voters. “The session helped the BJP in some way to achieve that target,” he said.

“The government did a fine balancing act by addressing issues related to the SCs, STs and OBCs,” the first minister said.

“It (also) helps address concerns among Dalits who were agitated after a Supreme Court judgment against immediate arrest under the SC/ST act. It also helps send a message to the backward communities about government’s commitment to them,” a minister of state from an NDA alliance partner said. “There were apprehensions about the fallout of reversing the SC judgment but the government decided to bite the bullet.”

The second minister said certain other bills to empower authorities to confiscate the property of fugitive economic offenders and another to increase punishment for raping a minor girl helped the government convey a strong message that the government would act tough on such serious issues.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 23:28 IST