The Lok Sabha is set to discuss a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government on Friday as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today admitted notices filed by TDP and other opposition parties.
“The House will take up the debate (on the motion) on Friday, July 20th. The discussion will be held for the full day, followed by voting on it,” Mahajan announced in the House when it reassembled after the lunch break on the first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
She also said that there will be no Question Hour on that day and the House would have no other business, barring the discussion on the no-confidence motion. Earlier, the Speaker had announced that she would announce the date for the debate in 2-3 days.
During the Zero Hour, she had named all members from TDP, Congress and NCP, among others, who had moved similar no- confidence motion notices and said TDP’s Kesineni Srinivas would move his motion as his party was the first to raise it.
Mahajan had not accepted notices for a similar motion during the Budget Session, which was washed out due to continued uproar by TDP, TRS and some Opposition parties demanding that government agree to the motion. But the motion was rejected by the Speaker claiming the House was not in order as there were continuous protests in the Well by opposition members on various issues.
The member of the TDP, which had quit the ruling NDA coalition in March protesting against the government not giving a special package to Andhra Pradesh, had moved the motion during Zero Hour which was admitted by the Speaker.
“More than 50 members are supporting the motion, so the leave is granted (to bring in no-confidence motion),” Mahajan said earlier in the day, accepting the notice. With Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanding that the largest party be allowed to move the motion, Mahajan said as per rules, the party which raises the motion first, gets to move it.
“It’s not a question of big party, small party... Those who brought the no-confidence motion, I read all the rules. The person who first brought the motion, has to be called first,” Mahajan said.
As Kharge pressed with the demand that all members who brought in the motion should be allowed to move it, an angry Mahajan said “You go through the record... I have gone according to the rule”.
BJP express confidence in winning trust vote
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government is prepared to face the no-confidence motion brought in by several parties. “The entire country has confidence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party today expressed confidence in winning the trust vote, if necessary. The party leaders said that the no-confidence motion will serve no purpose as the ruling NDA had a majority in the House.
“I think such over confidence will serve no purpose. We will show clear majority on July 20 (Friday). We will win comfortably and show our strength to the opposition,” Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said.
Challenging Sonia Gandhi’s claim that the Opposition had enough numbers to challenge the government during the trust vote, BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan said that Congress had shown similar kind of arrogance during Atal Ji's tenure and had to face the consequences. “Indians have elected PM Modi as their leader and he has their confidence. We are ready to face them,” Pradhan claimed.
Cracks in Opposition unity
While the BJP leadership is presenting a united front for the trust vote, the opposition is already showing signs of cracks. Resonating BJP’s sentiments that Friday’s trust vote shall not shake the government, Samajwadi Party’s senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav accused trust vote sponsors of hidden agenda.
“Opposition doesn't have numbers but have people who will tell others how govt has be-fooled the nation. Sarkar girane layak jab number nahi hai to maksad kyun sarkar girane ka hai? Vishwas ye hai ki janta ke mann mein avishwas paida kar dein (When you don’t have numbers to uproot the government then why set that as an agenda? The motive is to seed lack of trust in hearts of people),” Yadav told ANI.
The Opposition parties brought in no-confidence motion against the government on issues like Grant of special status to Andhra Pradesh, lynchings, atrocities against women and dalits and dilution of a law meant for Scheduled Caste.
(With inputs from agencies)
WATCH FULL COVERAGE OF THE STORY ON AAJ KI BAAT WITH RAJAT SHARMA