Insists on an immediate discussion, catching the Opposition parties completely by surprise
The Congress Government clearly outwitted an unprepared and a divided Opposition even before the Assembly began discussing the notice of no-confidence given by the TRS and the YSR Congress.
At the outset, the ruling party donned the role of the Opposition by insisting on an immediate discussion. The move caught the Opposition parties by surprise as they planned to press for a discussion on Wednesday. No sooner than Speaker Nadendla Manohar granted leave for a debate on the motion, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee was convened where the ruling party said it was ready to face the floor test on Friday itself.
The TRS, TDP, YSR Congress, BJP and other parties could only offer a feeble protest saying that they were expecting the motion to be taken up at a later date but Legislative Affairs Minister D. Sridhar Babu made it clear that the government would first face the motion immediately.
“How can the government take up the debate on the Governor’s address when some Opposition parties say they have no confidence in us,” he said. Moreover, the schedule for presentation of the budget on March 18 could not be changed.
According to sources, the Congress leaders felt they had won the battle the moment the TDP decided not to support the motion and wanted to press home their advantage before the TDP’s top brass changed its mind. Accordingly, the party decided to send telegrams to the rebels asking them to attend the House on Friday and simultaneously issued a one-line whip.
These decisions were taken at a strategy meeting that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held on Thursday night with senior Cabinet colleagues. “We lined up seven Ministers and MLAs to speak on the motion,” a Minister told The Hindu.
Earlier in the House, the Speaker announced that he had received two notices for moving no-confidence motions given by the TRS and the YSR Congress. With 45 members supporting it, 17 each of TRS and YSR Congress, four CPI, three BJP, one Lok Satta, suspended TDP member K. Harishwar Reddy and independent legislator Nagam Janardhan Reddy, the Speaker admitted it since it was well above the minimum requirement of 30—one-tenth strength of the House.
Earlier, the House was adjourned for about an hour following slogan-shouting by Opposition members.