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Why NDA is likely to win the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha

The ruling alliance has 312 members in the 535-member Lok Sabha, well above the halfway mark of the 268 needed for it to sail through the challenge posed by the Opposition.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2018 00:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The NDA government, led by Narendra Modi, wants to quickly wrap up the motion, so the remaining days of the monsoon session can be devoted to passing important bills.(Reuters photo)

The reason for the Narendra Modi government’s confidence that it will win the no-trust motion in the Lok Sabha on Friday can be summed up in a single word: Numbers.

The National Democratic Alliance has 312 members in the 535-member Lok Sabha, well above the halfway mark of the 268 needed for it to sail through the challenge posed by the Congress and Telugu Desam Party, among others. And even in the unlikely event of all its allies ditching the BJP in the last moment, the BJP would still have a count of 273 -- five more than what’s needed to emerge victorious.

So, many were taken by surprise when Congress leader Sonia Gandhi maintained that the Opposition may have the numbers to overthrow the government. Pouncing on Gandhi’s statement, Union minister Ananth Kumar remarked that her “math is weak”. “Their calculation is wrong... The Modi government has majority both inside and outside Parliament,” he said.

Political observers believe that although the Opposition is aware of its numerical shortcomings in the House, it hopes to use the opportunity to showcase inter-party unity and attack the Modi government over several issues, including refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, price rise, the recently introduced GST, demonetisation and farmer distress.

The BJP, on the other hand, hopes that a convincing win over the Opposition will weaken the impression of a rising anti-BJP front and sap its strength ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. It also wants to quickly wrap up the motion, so the remaining days of the monsoon session can be devoted to passing important bills. “We feel the opposition will have no issue to disrupt the house after the no-confidence is taken up,” a minister said.

Nevertheless, the BJP has issued a three-line whip mandating all its Lok Sabha MPs to be present in the House on July 20. It has also sent feelers to disgruntled allies such as the Shiv Sena, securing their support for the government when the motion is taken up.

This will be the first no-confidence vote in Parliament since 2003, when the then Vajpayee government comfortably crushed a no-trust motion initiated by the Congress.

The motion has the support of the Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Samajwadi Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), among others.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 23:47 IST