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Lok Sabha to debate TDP’s no-trust motion on Friday

Up in arms: Telugu Desam Party MPs raising slogans at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday.  

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted a notice for a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament on Wednesday. Ms. Mahajan fixed Friday as the day when the Lower House will debate the motion.

This is the first time that the Modi government will face such a motion. While notices were moved by Opposition MPs in the last session too, the Speaker did not grant leave for them to be taken up as the support of 50 members could not be ascertained due to protests in the Well of the House.

Lok Sabha to debate TDP’s no-trust motion on Friday
 

A notice for a no-confidence motion against a government is accepted only if at least 50 members of the Lower House support it. The Speaker then fixes a date for discussion, followed by a vote. If the government loses it, it falls.

While several Opposition MPs, including Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress, had given notices, the Speaker accepted the one from Telugu Desam Party’s Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas on the ground that his was the first.

While the TDP has been staging protests demanding a special package for Andhra Pradesh, other Opposition parties have a variety of complaints against the government.

BJP counts on TRS, BJD

The BJP’s floor managers briefed Mr. Modi on July 16 on the numbers position in the House. Sources said the BJP is counting on support from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to boost its numbers and hand the Opposition a psychological and not just numerical defeat.

 

The government appears confident not just of facing the motion but also getting more votes than the strength of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The Congress, too, on its part claimed that it has the numbers.

“The entire NDA is united and we will face the no-confidence motion. In fact, we are hopeful of getting support from several non-NDA parties as well. It will be NDA plus,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar. Mr. Kumar said it was “strange that the Opposition was moving a no-confidence motion against the government when it didn’t have the numbers on its side and in a situation where the NDA is in power in 21 States.”

Sources in the BJP said there were 10 vacancies in the Lok Sabha at the moment due to various reasons, making 534 the effective strength of the House (excluding Speaker Mahajan).

“This would also bring down the majority mark required to defeat the no-confidence motion to 268, and the BJP, again, minus the Speaker, has 273 members on its own,” said a senior leader of the party.

“The government has decided to face the no-confidence motion to deflate the protests by the Opposition, because if protests continue after this motion, then it will be clear that the Opposition is just being obstructionist,” said a party leader.

 

Sonia is confident

Asked how the Congress would garner enough numbers to defeat the government, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi told reporters: “Who says we don’t have the numbers?”

Welcoming the no-trust debate, Congress Lok Sabha MP Rajeev Satav said the Opposition was confident about getting the numbers. “Just as there is widespread disenchantment against the Modi government in the country, there is anger among MPs as well. We are confident that the move will go through but if we start talking about strategy now, they may go into damage control,” he said.

The TDP went into a huddle soon after the Speaker’s announcement. They were looking to disrupt the monsoon session, much like the budget session, but are looking to change tack now, reaching out to other political parties seeking their cooperation.

"We have decided to hold our agitations for now. We will decide our future strategy after Friday’s no-confidence motion," TDP MP and Lok Sabha floor leader Thota Narsimhan said.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 3:52:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lok-sabha-to-debate-tdps-no-trust-motion-on-friday/article24454818.ece

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