The Narendra Modi Government's strong camp may become even stronger. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today hinted his party AIADMK might not back the No confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, saying the motion was moved by the TDP over an issue concerning Andhra Pradesh. The governmet already claims that it has strong numbers to defeat the No confidence motion.
No party had backed Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery issue when AIADMK lawmakers had stalled the Lok Sabha for nearly three weeks seeking the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC), he said.
"You should understand. They (TDP) have moved the no-confidence motion for a problem concerning Andhra Pradesh. When AIADMK MPs from Tamil Nadu stalled Parliament (during the previous session), who did voice (support) for us, who came forward to solve the problems of Cauvery delta farmers?" he asked.
"Which state came forward. No state did," he told reporters in Salem in response to a query whether the AIADMK will support the motion.
DMK working president MK Stalin, meanwhile, urged the ruling AIADMK which has as many as 37 MPs in the Lok Sabha, to support the no-confidence motion, saying the move is expected to be a "turning point" in Parliamentary democracy.
Stalin, seeking the support of his party's arch rival, alleged that the Centre "trashed" Tamil Nadu Assembly resolutions and cited the Union government not clearing two Bills envisaging exemption from NEET for the State.
Accusing the Centre of usurping states' rights, he listed holding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), steps to replace UGC with a Higher Education body, and several other issues to buttress his point.
The DMK leader assured his party's "whole-hearted moral support," for the no-confidence motion since there is no "opportunity to vote in support," apparently indicating that his party does not have any MP in the Lok Sabha.
He accused the BJP regime of being "autocratic" and accused it of making a mockery of democracy.
Stalin alleged that the dispensation led by the saffron party "besmirched the nation's pluralistic ethos by defeating the basic features of the Constitution like social justice and secularism".
The AIADMK is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha after the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.
The BJP and the PMK have one MP each from Tamil Nadu, which has a total of 39 parliamentary constituencies.
The Opposition sponsored no-confidence motion against the Modi government moved by the TDP is to be debated in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.
The N Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP in Andhra Pradesh quit the ruling NDA at the Centre in March, protesting against the government not giving special status to the state.
Palaniswami said it was only his party MPs, "on behalf" of the state government, who had raised the issue of CMB and CWRC during the Budget session of Parliament to "ensure our rights."
"None stood by us then. So when it comes to their state, they are raising an issue. Did they support us when it came to our state's problem?" he asked.
Incidentally on Monday, a visiting delegation of the TDP claimed Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam declined to meet them despite giving appointment, a charge denied by the Chief Minister's Office.
The delegation, led by party MP C M Ramesh, had met DMK MP Kanimozhi as part of their efforts to garner support for their no-confidence motion.
Ramesh had alleged that the AIADMK acted as per the directions of the BJP, although Palaniswami's office had said no such appointments were scheduled for the chief minister that day.
Numbers favour govt
In a House of 535 members, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 274 members (including the Speaker and 2 nominated members) in the 16th Lok Sabha. The total number of parties in ruling NDA is 311 in the lower House, which will vote against the No confidence motion. The AIADMK and BJD are likely to abstain from voting. This reduces oppsoition parties's strength for the motion to 135.
(With inputs from PTI)