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‘Will vote as Uddhav Thackeray says’: Shiv Sena keeps ally BJP guessing on support for no-confidence motion

The Shiv Sena, which shares tumultuous ties with the BJP, is apparently miffed with ruling party’s top brass for not calling party chief Uddhav Thackeray ahead of the floor test to seek support.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2018 14:15 IST
No-confidence motion,Shiv Sena,BJP
Prime Ministerial Narendra Modi and Shiv Sena party chief Uddhav Thackeray during an election rally in April 2014. Last month, BJP president Amit Shah met Thackeray in an attempt to mend the ties between the two saffron parties.(Kunal Patil/HT File Photo)

The Shiv Sena, which shares an uneasy relationship with ally Bharatiya Janata Party, said on Thursday it will speak “when required” during the no-trust motion against the Narendra Modi government, slated to be taken up in Parliament on Friday.

“In a democracy, the voice of the opposition should be heard first even if it consists of one person. Even we (Shiv Sena) will speak when it is required. During voting, whatever Uddhav Thackeray directs us, we will do,” senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The party was miffed with the BJP top brass for not calling Thackeray ahead of the floor test to seek support. A senior Sena leader said that the “attitude” of the BJP shows they do not need Sena’s support.

Last month, BJP president Amit Shah met Thackeray in an attempt to mend the ties between the two saffron parties. The meeting was also aimed at mollifying Sena for an alliance for the upcoming general election and Maharashtra assembly polls in 2019.

The ruling party, on the other hand, was sure that the no-confidence motion moved against it will fail and parties outside the broader National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will support the government as it faces the first floor test in Parliament in 15 years.

How the numbers stack up
The ruling NDA has a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha
Expected stand on no-confidence motion:

Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said allies of the BJP, including the Shiv Sena, the Shiromani Akali Dal, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and others would throw their weight behind his party, which on its own has 273 MPs, enough to dismiss the challenge.

“The NDA will be united in the 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 the Hindustan Times.

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.

The motion has been slated for debate at 11am on Friday

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 11:52 IST