YSR Congress gives notice for no-confidence motion against Modi govt, Naidu’s TDP likely to support
The government, which has 307 MPs in the Lok Sabha (excluding TDP), is confident that the notice — over issuing special status to Andhra Pradesh — will not amount to much.india Updated: Mar 15, 2018 23:47 IST
For the first time in its term, the Narendra Modi government may face a no-confidence motion on the floor of the house.
Andhra Pradesh’s YSR Congress Party led by Jagan Mohan Reddy, has given a notice to move a no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha over the issue of not giving the so-called “special category” status to his state. But before any vote takes place, the notice needs the support of 50 MPs ‘in an orderly house’. It is not clear the notice will get that.
With a comfortable majority in the house, the government is safe and will cruise through, even if the motion is admitted. The move is however expected to hasten the exit of The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which pulled its ministers out of the Bharatiya Janata Party led government, from National Democratic Alliance. The YSRCP has nine MPs, but four have defected, leaving it with an effective strength of five; the TDP has 16 MPs, and it can’t risk not supporting a motion that purportedly has the state’s best interests in mind.
TDP MP Thota Narasimham told PTI that the party will also support the motion. Later, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu too said the TDP would support the no-confidence motion.
“We will support a no-confidence motion, whoever moves it. We will be ready for that and our 16-17 MPs will fully support that. We will cooperate with whoever fights for the state’s rights,” Naidu told the state assembly, according to PTI.
YSRCP MP YV Subba Reddy submitted a notice with the Lok Sabha secretariat, desiring to move a no confidence motion on Friday. Reddy has also written a letter seeking support from all non-NDA parties. The party initially planned to the motion on March 21, but advanced it amid apprehension that Parliament might adjourn sine die early in the wake of disruptions.
It has also suggested that its MPs will quit from Lok Sabha at the end of the session if the demands are not met.
The budget session is scheduled to end on April 6.
The Congress, with 48 MPs, and the Trinamool Congress, with 34, were yet to take a call on the no-confidence motion late on Thursday. “We will firm up our strategy by Friday morning,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. A TMC leader said the YSRCP had not reached out to the party yet. The Biju Janata Dal is unlikely to support the notice. A party leader said, “It is for a parochial issue. We may not support it.”
The government, which has 307 MPs in the Lok Sabha (excluding TDP), is confident that the notice itself will not amount to much.
Two union ministers said the YSR Congress will find it difficult to get its motion admitted for technical reasons. A no confidence motion has to be supported by 50 members who will stand up as a mark of support. “When there is so much chaos in the house, and MPs belonging to half a dozen parties are either standing in the well of the house or at the seat, how do you determine if the motion has support of 50 MPs?” the first minister said.
The second minister said the house has to be in order for a no-confidence motion to be taken up, but given the experience so far in the current session, such a situation is unlikely. Voting on a no confidence motion also has to be conducted when house is in order and every member is seated at his designated place to vote, this person added.
The motion is being seen as a result of competitive Andhra politics, where different parties are projecting themselves as more committed to getting the state the special category status. TDP leaders are meeting in Amravati on Friday to take a final call on their continuation in the NDA.
The sudden outburst of popular Telugu actor-turned-Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan at a public meeting in Guntur on Wednesday night (he targeted the TDP and the YSR Congress) is understood to have made CM Naidu shift even further from NDA. In his teleconference with party MPs on Thursday morning, Naidu said he suspected that the top BJP leadership could be behind the actor’s aggressive attack on the TDP government.
The TDP president alleged the top leadership in Delhi was trying to replicate the Tamil Nadu experiment in Andhra Pradesh.
“There are some big elements behind the conspiracy. The players in the game are in the state. They are trying to weaken the politically strong states through the Tamil Nadu type politics. But, neither Andhra Pradesh nor TDP is so vulnerable to become victims. We will thwart those attempts. Those who conspire will bite the dust,” the Andhra Pradesh chief minister is said to have told his MPs.
(With inputs from Srinivasa Rao Apparasu in Hyderabad)