The BJP-led government has survived the no-confidence motion moved by the TDP and supported by other Opposition parties. This is the first time that the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government faced such a motion. The motion secured 126 votes in favour and 325 against. There were no abstentions.
While the Shiv Sena stayed away from the proceedings, BJD walked out of the House. Though the no-confidence motion was essentially brought by the TDP over what they call non-allocation of adequate funds to Andhra Pradesh, the discussion expanded to various issues ranging from Rafale deal to mob violence.
The House had to be adjourned twice over war of words between members. It also witnessed dramatic 'hug diplomacy' of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Here are the live updates:
Mr. Modi tweets: “ NDA has the confidence of the Lok Sabha and the 125 crore people of India. I thank all the parties that have supported us in the vote today. Our efforts to transform India and fulfil the dreams of our youth continue. Jai Hind!”
The question is put to vote again after the official’s explanation. The numbers are in: Ayes 126, Noes 325, Total 451. That means the motion is defeated.
Chair's announcement awaited.
And the Chair announces that subject to corrections the numbers are: Ayes 126, Noes 325. And the motion is rejected. House adjourned till Monday.
The Narendra Modi government has survived a no-trust motion.
The House is preparing to vote on the no-confidence motion. Members will be allotted their lobbies. After that the Lok Sabha Secretary will explain the procedure to vote.
Ms. Mahajan announces that the lobbies are cleared.
Question is asked. After the voice vote, now division is announced.
After a false result, the Secretary-General is now explaining the procedure.
According to the numbers flashed for a moment: There were 10 Ayes, and 8 Noes with no abstentions.
TDP leader Kesineni Srinivas is called to speak. He credits Mr. Modi as the greatest actor actor of our time. Protests from Treasury benches.
Minister Ananth Kumar wants some words to be expunged. Chair reminds the TDP member to ask only clarifications, if any.
“Both BJP and Congress are responsible for the unscientific bifurcation of A.P., ” he says recalling the events at the 15th Lok Sabha during the passage of the A.P. Bifurcation Bill.
He repeats his claim that Mr. Modi is a great drama artist, triggers protest.
Motion put to vote.
Speaker says Noes have it. Asks the lobbies to be cleared.
Mr. Modi now moves on to talk about bank loans and NPAs. Numbers are being reeled out amid slogans of “We Want Justice”. Though not shown by Lok Sabha TV we can understand the protest is by members from A.P.
“I want to tell you about the NPA problem. Much before Internet Banking, Congress Party invented Phone Banking and this caused the NPA mess. A phone call would get loans for their cronies and the nation suffered.”
Prime Minister now refers to notes to talk about the “damage” the UPA govt did to capital goods sector. Possibly the protests are at the Well of the House. Though it was not shown, we can see hands going up in the frame showing the PM.
Mr. Modi, who is known for his extempore speeches, continues to refer notes while talking about economics numbers.
If the UPA govt was allowed to continue in 2014, the country would have gone from bad to worse, the Prime Minister implies.
Mr. Modi seems to be rushing through his speech. From a composed address, it now appears he is reading out from a prepared text.
Yes, he is reading out from a text.
“Any instance of violence brings shame to the nation. I will once again urge the state governments to punish those who indulge in violence,” says the PM. “This Government stands with the Muslim women in their quest for justice.”
“India is seeing the record pace at which roads are being built, villages are being connected, i-ways are being built, railways development is happening,” he says. Lok Sabha TV shows Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
“ Poora karo, poora karo ,” slogans are being shouted by the protesting members apparently from A.P.
The Prime Minister now turns to statistics on the job opportunities to be created by medical and legal professions.
It looks like a ritual now: PM gives out numbers, Treasury benches respond with a feeble, tired desk thumping.
Sector after sector is creating lakhs and lakhs of jobs, the PM says. “I am quoting independent reports, not sarkari numbers,” he says. Curiously he sticks to 125 crore, when the population is well beyond 132 crore.
He concludes his speech.
PM now moves on the SCS and A.P. and then blames the Congress.
“Atal ji created 3 states- Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. It was done peacefully. These states are prospering. The Congress divided Andhra Pradesh and their conduct then was shameful,” he says. “But it's not new. It's been you case since India-Pakistan partition.”
“NDA government is fully committed towards the development of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana” he says. Quotes a TDP MP, without naming who, as saying that his govt's package is better than SCS.
Protests and applause.
“A.P. CM himself accepted this proposal in 2016, and thanked the govt,” he says. But TDP did a U-turn due to politics. “I called up Chandrababu Naidu when TDP decided to quit NDA. I told him you’re falling into the trap of YSRCP. You won't be able to come out.”
Amid slogans, he says the govt won't go back on the welfare of the people of Andra Pradesh.
Prime Minister begins his reply. Praises the power of democracy. It's a chance to reassess the performance of the govt., he says.
“The question is why the motion was moved, when there is no mandate, no numbers,” to bring down the government he asks with a quip about a “bhookambh”, a reference to the popular hashtag on Rahul Gandhi’s speech.
“The only agenda is: ‘ Modi hatao ,’” he says. “I cannot be removed except by the 125 crore people of India. Why this hurry to remove me. In democracy, we should remain patient,” he says amid applause by the Treasury benches.
“It's not the floor test of the govt. But a floor test for the Congress and a trial on the ‘what if I become Prime Minister dream’,” the PM says.
PM halts his speech amid din. Not yielding, though. Speaker is heard pleading to go back to seats.
This is not proper says, the Chair. Ruckus continues. Hard to hear anythin, except Ms. Mahajan’s voice. This is not fair, you have to listen... to the reply, she says.
PM tries to speak. Not heard.
“Sabka saath, sabka vikas government, when we worked on electrification in 18,000 villages... among this 15,000 villages... our tribals, Dalis and backward people reside,” he says.
Slogans heard: “We want justice.”
PM continues his speech despite the sloganeering and applause for his taking credit for the Jan Dhan scheme.
Eight crore toilets have been build for our poor mothers and sisters, he says adding about the free LPG scheme. Quotes an “international report” to claim 5 crore people came out of poverty and reels out other statistics. “These people don't have confidence in that,” he says.
Prime Minister goes on: insurance scheme, health care, LED bulbs and the resultant savings in power, more companies that make mobile phones.
He then moves on to youth: 13 crore youth have been given loans, 10,000 start-ups are taking India forward. Sloganeering continues.
Charges the Opposition with not trusting the people of the country. Quotes a number on the digital transaction. Slogan has changed.
PM says India is 6th in managing the economy. “We used technology to bring Rs. 90,000 crore which would have gone to some other hands. We have shut down 2.5 lakh shell companies.” Adds that benami transactions have been checked to a large extent.
“No trust is part of Congress culture. They have no trust in Yoga day, CJI, RBI and other institutions... why? They don't trust themselves.”
“People who were sitting on a their own special rules were worried when the transformation made its way towards people’s power,” he says. “These days talk of lord Shiva is being made. I pray to him that you people should bring another no-confidence motion after the next elections too...”
After touching on Doklam, he moves on to Rafale. “I cannot imagine such game can be played with the nation's security. The nation won't forgive you. This is the time for you change.”
“Can anyone use such language against our soldiers,” he asks. “I cannot imagine the hurt such irresponsible speech would have caused. Country won't forgive you for calling surgical strikes a jhumla.”
“We must abstain from making childish statements on sensitive issues,” he says of Mr. Gandhi’s speech on Rafale.
He mocks the Congress statement about the numbers. “I remember the 1999 statement made in front of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan about having 272 MPs’ support. And it turned out to be otherwise.”
“This is the culture of the Congress,” he says. From Charan Singh and Chandra Shekar and Deve Gowda to I.K. Gujral who would forget Congress’ withdrawal of support, he says. “And twice Congress tried to buy votes with notes. Who can forget that?”
“I am the son a poor mother. You are privileged ( naamdaar ). I don't have the courage to see eye to eye,” Mr. Modi quips referring to Mr. Gandhi’s speech earlier.
“And after the eye-to-eye came the wink, everyone is watching in TV, ” he adds about the Rahul wink. “ The entire nation saw what the eyes did today. It is clear in front of everyone.”
On keeping fuel price out of GST: “The decision was taken in UPA regime.”
“I am bhaghidar of the poor, of the youth of the country in their dreams... And I am proud about that,” he says.
Congress’ mantra, he says, is if not us, there should be instability in the country. “These are thriving on emotional blackmail of the Dailits, poor and other backward people.”
“Now, those who mocked at Ambedkar’s politics, are they taking credit for his work,” the PM asks.
“Madame Speaker, the Congress is cut off from the ground reality,” he says continuing his anti-Congress tirade. He's yet to speak on any other party, not even the TDP which brought in the motion. However, moments ago he promised: “I am not going to leave anyone. I will give respect to everyone.”
Anurag Thakur, quotes, the French response Mr. Gandhi’s claim on Rafale deal. (Though he says the French President gave the response, it was actually a French govt spokesperson who gave the response .)
Rahul Gandhi lied before the House and should apologise to the nation, he says.
Ramdas Athavale speaks now . Enthrals Treasury benches.
N.K. Premachandran raises. (Only one minute, says Chair.) Govt came to power on the issue of development. Instead it's destroying the social fabric of the country.
Next speaker is called. Speeches continue amid buzz, and din.
SDF’s Preem Das Rai raises. PM led from the front the front to defuse Doklam crisis, he says amid applause.
Kairana's new MP Tabassum Begum is called with a refrain that she won't get the privilege of the maiden speech.
She reads out a speech on the greivances of Kairana people. And faults the govt on MSP and the farm policies which "broke the back of the farmers". Also she says women are not safe under this government.
Speaker wants her to conclude, but Ms. Begum continues.
Farooq Abdullah, NC, raises for his “maiden” speech. Recites Saare Jahan Se Achcha. Says: “Please don't doubt Muslims. Muslims are as Indian as you are.”
“I won't speak of anything else, but Kashmir.”
“I am Indian. I’m not Pakistani,” he says amid protests. “A way out should be discussed,” he says invoking the U.S.-North Korea talks.
“Not America, not Russia could defeat us. We will defeat ourselves if Muslims and Hindus don't go together,” he says. Mr. Abdullah seeks leniency on the weight of his “maiden” speech, and launches his rhetoric.
Despite the Chair pressing, he continues to speak. Speaker asks House’s opinion to extend the sitting beyond 9 p.m. Granted, and after the reply the House will go to vote.
Anurag Thakur, the new Whip of the BJP, is the last speaker.
Speakers says she wants to conclude by 9 p.m. and call for reply.
AIMIM’s Owaisi raises, attacks the minority and dalit welfare policies of the govt. “You have raised a wall of hate,” says asking, “do you want a Dalit-mukt, Muslim-Mukt Bharat.”
Concludes with a shair, invokes Babri Masjid demolition.
Kunhali Kutty, IUML, is speaking. No digital India, no Make in India, nobody knows what you made. The kind of communal divide brings shame upon the govt, he concludes.
JD(U)’s Kaushalendra Kumar is the next speaker. TDP is at fault for bringing this motion... because the PM is from a backward family, he says. When he starts talking politics, he was shut down amid protests.
Next, JMM’s Vijay Kumar Hansdak from Jharkhand. While Adani benefits, Jharkhand's tribals are not getting any. Speaks against killings in the name of cows. If cos is important give voting rights to them he says. He concludes.
Dushyant Chautala, INLD, speaks of the “lack of confidence” across the country. Before going for the sky, please look at the ground, he says. Bell rings.
Speaker wants him to conclude. Given your broken promises how can we have confidence in you, was the gist of his speech, drawing on various issues.
Renuka Butta, YSR Congress' lone member, (that is other than those resigned) lambasts the government for its “treatment” towards A.P. She was cut short, though she wanted more time. Next speaker is called despite Ms. Butta's protests. Chair asks her to conclude in one sentence. She seeks Special status to A.P. immediately.
Upendra Kushwaha, RLSP, a BJP ally from Bihar, raise to oppose the motion. Interestingly Mr. Kushwaha was seen sulking in terms of 2019 Lok Sabha seat sharing. Now he expressed full confidence in the Modi government.
Wants to seek attention of the migrating youth of Bihar, who have been insulted and abused across the country. Wants the government to take special care of the 10 crore people of Bihar.
As with all the tailend speakers the Chair is at pains to make him conclude. Next speaker is called.
Badruddin Ajmal of AIDUF raises to speak. Reads out his issues: NRC, state of detention camps in Assam, NE industrial policy - when industries are opened elsewhere, in Assam they are being closed, WhatsApp rumours and crime against women. And concludes. Chair is thankful and cuts Mr. Ajmal off.
Virendra Singh of the BJP laments the state of the Congress “for taking the House to new lows.” Speaker wants him not to indulge in such talk, and want him to speak on the subject. Mr. Singh is not yielding. Speaker says the time is up, but gives him some more time. Mr. Singh praises the govt. for supporting cabbage farmers and giving gobar gas subsidy.
Bell is rung. Next speaker is called. Mr. Singh says he has just started. Madame Speaker wants him to sum up. Mr. Venugopal objects the extension. Point of order. Ms. Mahajan sulks.
Mr. Mann of AAP raises to speak. Says this is not the first time Mr. Modi went back on a promise.
Picks on the BJP members’ speeches for claiming that equal treatment is given to all States. Voices of protest.
Mr. Mann asks whether Delhi not part of the country. "I guess some Viceroy's ghost has possessed the Delhi L-G," he says.
Mr. Mann attacks the govt. on price rise. Comes up with a poem, with a plea not to ring the bell.
As Mr. Mann is reciting the poem the next speaker is called.
Concludes his speech with a question: “Achche din kab aane wale hain?”
Virendra Singh of the BJP raises to speak.
Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu (TDP) begins the speech thanking members for supporting his party's motion. He refutes BJP member Hari Babu's claims.
When the BJP was in the Opposition, they asked why not provide SCS for 10 years. In the last four years, you haven't fulfilled the promise, he says. Mr. Naidu claims the BJP is supporting Uttar Pradesh, but not Andhra Pradesh when both are revenue deficit states.
When the BJP can construct its headquarters in 2.5 years, why can't it construct an IIT in Andhra Pradesh in four years, he asks.
Speaker calls Bhagwant Mann (AAP) to speak. Mr. Naidu objects. Ms. Mahajan wants Mr. Naidu to conclude in a minute. Mr. Naidu is cut short.
Modi govt in pro-poor: Anupriya Patel
Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal speaks. She claims Narendra Modi has taken steps to elevate the image of India in the global arena.
The MoS for Health says her government has taken every steps to fulfil its promises. She highlights the government's flagship schemes that are pro-poor. We have given 14,000 drugs to poor people for free. The stent prices have been reduced. We have opened generic medical stores. The initiatives of Health ministry has helped poor people, she claims.
Jayaprakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) speaks in favour of the motion. He says he understands the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh. He says the government has betrayed the people of Bihar too.
He claims the BJP has used back-door entry to form a government in Bihar. The Centre promised a special package to Bihar. It was never delivered. The raliway projects announced were never implemented, he claims.
He ends the speech by reciting a poetry to highlight religious harmony.
Don't believe in Congress, Akali MP tells TDP
The Shiromani Akali Dal supports the cause of Andhra Pradesh, says Prem Singh Chandumraja but warns the TDP not be believe Congress who have the history of back-stabbing. Congress members object.
Mr. Chandumraja targets Congress throughout his speech. The MP lists the "back stabbing" of Congress since Independence days.
He says Modi government's schemes have ensured farmers are getting uninterrupted supply of urea. The government has reduced the burden of farmers in many ways, he says.
'BJP's answer to all questions: Hindu-Pakistan, Hindu-Musalman, Shamshan-Kabristan'
Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) says he and his party are with the people of Andhra Pradesh. The party that moved no-confidence motion were once with the NDA. If a former ally is unhappy, imagine the plight of other states, Mr. Trivedi says.
We pleaded the government to postpone the no-confidence motion to Monday since West Bengal observes Martyrs Day on July 21. But the government disagreed, he says.
The Supreme Court has condemned mob killings. People are living in fear, he says.
It's Mr. Trivedi's turn to quote Mahabarata now. In the Kurukshetra War, Pandavas were outnumbered by Kauravas. But Pandavas won because they were supported by truth. We will uphold the democracy today, he says. For you, Ram is only in Ayodhya. For us, Ram is everywhere, Mr. Trivedi says.
Mr. Trivedi says rupee's value has fallen, banks are in distress, unemployment is all-time high. But the government has only one answer: Hindu-Pakistan, Hindu-Musalman, Shamshan-Kabristan.
The position of Chief Statistician is lying vacant for six months. The government is only indulging in polarisation. The government promised change but delivering division. The real Indian, the real Hindu is sad today, he claims.
This govt. is anti-Tamil Nadu: Jayavardhan
J. Jayavardhan (AIADMK) accuses the Central government directly infringing the rights of the States with NEET and Dam Safety Bill.
The central government's decision to UGC has a direct effect on the fiscal health of the State, he says. Dr. Jayavardhan's speech highlights how Centre's decisions have affected Tamil Nadu. There is a growing disparity of Centre-State share, he claims.
Dr. Jayavardhan says it was a wrong move to abolish wealth tax.
Dr. Jayavardhan says despite repeated requests from Tamil Nadu legislators, the Central government hasn't done anything to stop killing of innocent fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy. He also accuses the Union government for not taking up Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils during the Eelam War.
'We have passed all benefits of SCS to AP, without naming it'
K. Hari Babu, the BJP MP from Andhra Pradesh speaks. He says he is amused to see the TDP joining hands with the Congress. The soul of N.T. Rama Rao wouldn't forgive you, he warns. Throughout his life, NTR fought against Congress' politics, he says.
When the reorganisation Act was passed, BJP leaders stood with the residuary Andhra Pradesh. If Congress was really interested in the welfare of the State, why didn't the add the SCS clause in the Bill itself, he says. '
The TDP gave letter supporting bifurcation, but spoke about unified Andhra in the House, Mr. Hari Babu claims.
The SCS doesn't guarantee industrial corridor. It will only give additional aide from the Centre. But the Union government has given more than what SCS would guarantee to the State, Mr. Hari Babu says.
We have passed all benefits of SCS to AP, without calling it so, claims Mr. Hari Babu. The State would get an additional Rs. 3,600 crore if SCS was granted. We have granted Rs. 17,500 crores as central assistance, says Mr. Hari Babu. You have to choose between SCS name and financial assistance, he adds.
We stand with Andhra Pradesh: Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge thanks the Speaker for allocating more time to members. I am getting a thank you note rarely in these four years, Ms. Mahajan chuckles.
Mr. Kharge reads government's schemes approved to Andhra Pradesh. He recalls the promise made by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh for a period of five years. In Rajya Sabha, the then Leader of Opposition and present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had accepted the assurance and withdrew his demands. The current government is not fullfilling its own promises, Mr. Kharge claims.
Mr. Kharge accuses the government of following 'divide and rule'. "We are supporting the TDP even if they don't support us," Mr. Kharge says.
Mr. Kahrge cries foul on the recent hike of MSP. He says the Swaminathan Commission report has not been properly implemented and the hike is a mere eyewash.
Mr. Kharge concludes his speech taking a dig on BJP's election slogans during the 2014 General Elections. When will the promises be met? he asks.
His speech is abruptly stopped due to paucity of time. He requests the Chair to make concluding remarks.
He ends his speech with a poetry.
'We are defending democracy, while you are working against equality'
Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress Legislature Party, speaks. I expected the ministers to list government's achievements during their speech. Unfortunately such things didn't happen, he says.
He cites Rajnath Singh's remarks on democracy in India's history. He asks Mr. Singh if his party respected democracy in the last four years. We are defending democracy, while you are working against equality, Mr. Kharge.
Mr. Singh refers Ramayana and Mahabharata, but he doesn't remember Shambu and Ekalavya, Mr. Kharge says. In four years if you have electrified 18,000 villagers, it was due to the 70 years of work previous governments did on electrical generation and distribution, he says.
The government repeatedly accuses the Opposition of disrupting democracy. You repeatedly bring Ordinances. But what stopped you from bringing an Ordinance to amend the Lokpal Act to felicitate appointing an ombudsman, Mr. Kharge asks.
Paswan targets SP, RJD
Ram Vilas Paswan says the Opposition is trying to portray a wrong message that the government is anti-Dalit. The change in reservation policy was directed by Supreme Court and not the government. We have appealed against the verdict and obtained stay, he says.
On Women's Bill, Mr. Paswan recalls the episode in Lok Sabha when the Bill was first introduced in 2008. The House wanted to unanimously pass the Bill, but after a brief break parties changed their stand and sought reservation within the Bill, he claims. Members object to his remarks. Are RJD and SP ready to support Women's Bill, he asks.
He takes potshots at alliance between BSP and SP wondering if they had any common platform on any issues.
The Prime Minister considers the Parliament a temple. The Prime Minister has no religion. Mr. Modi never assured Ram temple in the disputed site in Ayodhya. He repeatedly states he will abide by court's verdict, Mr. Paswan says.
His piece of advice to Congress: work hard, seek retrospective, think why they have lost in all but three States.
The government is pro-poor, pro-Dalit, says Paswan
Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan speaks against the motion. He claims the problems of Andhra Pradesh are not new and the Congress has to be blamed for the situation.
In a way I welcome this motion. Only during such discussions, people get to know the truth about the government, Mr. Paswan says.
Mr. Paswan highlights pro-poor initiatives of the government such as free housing, free toilets, total sanitation projects.
The government has brought programmes like Start Up India, Stand Up India, Mudra schemes to encourage entrepreneurship, especially for the downtrodden, Dalits and tribals, he says.
"There a two generation of Dalits — one belonging to Ram Vilas Paswan who tolerated atrocities, and another Chirag Paswan's generation who want to live a life of dignity."
Your alliance partners are deserting you, Tariq Anwar tells BJP
Tariq Anwar (NCP) lists the drawbacks of the government. Currency value, economic instability, Kashmir unrest, no Lokpal, mob violence, rising prices — Mr. Anwar says these are key issues today.
The government came with 'Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas' slogan, but development is not holistic here, Mr. Anwar says. Farmers are dying, intellectuals are scared of speaking their mind, says Mr. Anwar. Mr. Modi promised corrupt free government. But 31 wilful defaulters have fleed the country and the banks are in distress.
"If this is Ram Rajya, I am afraid to imagine how Ravan Rajya would be," Mr. Anwar says.
Your alliance partners are deserting you, Mr. Anwar tells BJP pointing out that Shiv Sena has stayed away for the discussion.
The Prime Minister doesn't take the Opposition into confidence, he should at least take advice of senior leader like Mr. Advani. The situation may change, he hopes.
The government has wasted four years in attempting to malign the Nehru-Gandhi family. People wanted a change and they brought you. The people want to know what are your developments, he says.
Prime Minister's silence on lynchings is like tacit support to mob violence, says Mr. Anwar.
Rajnath Singh lists the funds released by the Centre for development of Andhra Pradesh and its capital Amaravati. If needed, we will give more money, he says.
The TDP has been demanding a Special Category Status. There are some difficulties in granting it. Under 14th Finance Commission, the State would get 32 per cent funds. We have granted more than it. We have also released a special package for the State, Mr. Singh says.
Andhra Pradesh should give up the demand for SCS and speed up their projects, Mr. Singh says.
Andhra Pradesh is also part of this country. We understand the issues it is facing due to bifurcation. We are there to support the State, says Mr. Singh ending his speech.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh says that only under the Prime Minister had the minimum support price (MSP) become double. “This can only be done by someone who was born to a poor woman.”
He refers to Congress president Rahul Gandhi as being born with a silver spoon. “Poverty is a matter of hearing for him, not a matter of suffering,” says the Minister.
''It has now been four years since we took over, and our Prime Minister has not taken even four minutes of leave,'' he notes.
We haven't had a single terror attack in four years, claims Rajnath
Mr. Rajnath Singh takes potshots at Mr. Gandhi's speech. Mr. Gandhi should have read history before making remarks. He spoke about Karnataka. India's democracy is older than Britain's. Basavanna held assembly in 12th century. Gram sabhas were held in Thanjavur, he claims.
Speaker says Lok Sabha TV has a wonderful programme on history and people can watch to learn more about India's historic democracy.
Rajnath Singh goes on to elaborate India's ancient rule from Chandragupta Maurya. Jawaharlal Nehru has written about India's secular credentials in his Discovery of India.
The northeastern region has developed under Modi's rule. We have a framework agreement of Naga insurgency, it will be duly informed in the House.
We haven't had a single terror attack in four years, claims Rajnath Singh. Members object.
More naxals have been killed than security forces under this rule.
People who carried out anti-Sikh riots are teaching lessons on mob lynching, remarks Mr. Singh. He was referring to the 1984 riots against Sikhs after Indira Gandhi's assasination.
Mr. Singh talks about 'Hindu Taliban' remark without naming Shashi Tharoor. Don't incidents of chopping Kerala professor's hands by Islam fundamentalist or attacks in Kashmir remind you of Taliban? he asks.
We are a secular country, don't break it, warns Mr. Singh pointing at Opposition
Row over Rahul's 'hug diplomacy'
As Lok Sabha reconvenes, Rajnath Singh continues his speech. He calls Rahul Gandhi’s gesture of hugging the Prime Minister “Chipko Andolan.” Speaker agrees that it was against the decorum of the House.
Mallikarjun Kharge objects to Speaker's remarks. Ms. Mahajan says she wasn't hugging, but the manner it happened was not a parliamentary behaviour. He shouldn't have continued his speech. There is a decorum in the House and it has to be maintained, she says.
Mr. Singh jokingly remarks he would also hug Mr. Kharge after his speech.
Members of Andhra Pradesh raise objection to Rajnath Singh’s speech.
They want the Home Minister to stick to the specifics of Special Category Status to the State. He is the Home Minister of India, not just Andhra Pradesh. Allow him to speak, says the Speaker.
Speaker adjourns the House till 4:30 pm.
In the meantime, Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day for the lack of quorum.
'India will be among top 3 economies by 2030'
Home Minister Rajnath Singh continues to speak. India is the fastest growing country in the World. The IMF has predicted that the GDP will bounce back. Fours years ago India was in the ninth position, today we are the sixth largest economy. In 2030, we will be among the top 3 economies, Mr. Singh says. India is the most attractive destination for investment, he adds.
Mr. Singh takes credit for opening the world largest mobilephone factory in Noida. Samajwadi and Congress members claim it was brought by their government. "I agree, but we increased the capacity to make it the largest firm," Mr. Singh says.
There have been earlier instances of economic offenders fleeing the country. But we were the one to bring a bill against fugitive economic offenders.
"The late Rajiv Gandhi remarks every one rupee alloted by the Centre, only 15 paise reaches the common man. Today, thanks to direct benefit transfer, the entire money reaches the beneficiary."
The Opposition always has doubts. Will the alliance ever happen? Who will lead the alliance? They always have doubts, Mr. Singh remarks.
The people are with Mr. Modi, says Rajnath Singh
Home Minister Rajnath Singh rises to speak. He recalls an incident three-decades ago when Rajiv Gandhi pointed at BJP and remarked "Hum Do, Hamare Do". Today, we are the majority in the House. Not a single party had the numbers to bring a no-confidence motion on its own.
It was believed that BJP couldn't win a seat in Kerala. Today, in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, one-third councillors belong to BJP. He cities the example of Tripura, two which the Left members protest.
We won with two-third majority in Tripura, Mr. Singh says. The people who brought no-confidence motion haven't learnt the mood of the nation, he says.
"When we were in the Opposition for 10 years, we never thought of bringing a no-confidence motion since we respected the people's mandate. We respect the Opposition and that is why we heeded to their demands and accepted the no-confidence motion," Mr. Singh says.
In the last 30 years, no political party has won majority. For the first time a non-Congress party has earned majority in the House. "Are you bringing a no-confidence motion against a Prime Minister, on whose appeal millions of Indians voluntarily gave up LPG subsidy and subsidies on railways?" Mr. Singh highlights that the BJP won majority in Uttar Pradesh after demonetisation exercise.
The people who brought no-confidence motion today are not in the same page. There is difference among them, Mr. Singh says. The alliance they talk, will never happen, he says.
'To save 1%, you are polarising the 99%'
CPI(M) Mohammad Salim begins his speech congratulating Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying he is the only senior leader in his party to be part of the ministry while others have become 'margdarshaks'. He also wonders if the government has a view.
In the manifesto the BJP claims black money was stashed in foreign banks, "but you have made Indian currency note illegal," he says.
Mr. Modi often says we have done what they have done in 70 years, we have done it in 4 years. But then, Mr. Modi also says in 70 years, Congress has only caused destruction to the nation, he adds.
Mr. Salim reminds the government that they have to go back to the farmers during elections.
By merely seeing presentation, the Centre grants Centre of Eminence tag to a Jio Institute. But if an MP wants to construct a school in his constituency, he has to show proof of land, students, teachers to get funding.
You came in the name of 'Swadeshi', but today you have allowed FDI in every sector including defence, Mr. Salim says.
Over 90 per cent of wealth is with one per cent. To save the one per cent you are polarising the ninety nine per cent. You are dividing and pitting people against each other in the name of religion, language and caste. Those who are talk about harmony is national and others are anti-national, Mr. Salim says.
You may win on lies, but will continue to talk truth even if we lose, says Mr. Salim when BJP members object to his remarks.
Mulayam targets NDA government over farmers' plight
Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party is the next speaker. He speaks on farmers issues. The nation will be happy only if farmers are happy. It is getting increasingly difficult to continue farming. The input costs have all gone expensive, he says.
Mr. Modi promised he'll give Rs. 15 lakh per person. How much as he delivered? The people will ask you when you meet them, Mr. Yadav warns.
The farmers are not happy, traders are not happy, prices of medicines are high, inflation is higher, Mr. Yadav says.
He repeatedly says unemployment and farmers' issue are serious issues. The Samajwadi Party won three seats in the Lok Sabha bypolls. It is a message to the Union government, he says.
Define SCS: TRS
Vinod Kumar Boianapalli of the TRS says that the Telangana state is ensuring all it can to make its people happy. “We are not concerned with their request regarding allocation of funds,” he says referring to the TDP’s demand for Special Category Status.
Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai is in the Chair.
“Telangana had very few demands. The first was water allocation.”
The Prime Minister should make an announcement on allocation of funds for projects on rivers Krishna and Godavari as they are giving to Polavaram, he says.
There is an assurance in the reorganisation Act for a Central University in Telangana. We have the land. To this day nothing has happened. Other assurances like National Thermal Power Project, National Highways have been partially fulfilled.
Mr. Boianapalli reminds the government that the reorganisation Act made several assurances to Telangana too.
He blames Andhra Pradesh for not constructing a High Court. There is ill-motive. Even though the High Court complex is in Telangana, people of our region are adequately represented, he says. Andhra Pradesh members object to it.
What do you mean by SCS? he asks. There should be a definition. What are you seeking from SCS, there must be clarity, he tells turning to TDP MPs. More objections.
He concludes his speech.
Trinamool Congress Saugata Roy terms demonetisation as 'Namo's Demo as jumla'. After losing 25 lakh jobs and severelu damaging the economy, only Rs. 16,000 crores of black money is reportedly got back. At the time of demonetisation, Rabi season was on, it had adverse effect on farmers. Farmers suicide happened due to this reason. Farmers trade with cash and that cash was stashed away, he says.
Mr. Roy now talks about mob violence. He lists the number of incidents that led to mob lynching. First the attacked Muslims in the name of cow protection, then Dalits... rationalists were killed by right wing forces.
Recalling Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's response to Rahul Gandhi's allegation of Rafale deal, Mr. Roy asks why she is silent on hiking of jet prices.
The BJP wants Congress-Mukth Bharat, but it looks like they want Muslim-Mukt Bharat, he says.
"What has he achieved in this globetrotting?"
Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) says there is already no-confidence in the Bench. The BJD has walked out, the Shiv Sena is staying away. This shows they have no confidence in the government. Rest is about number crunching.
The Prime Minister is roaming like a salesman. He visits West Bengal and talks about polarisation. He doesn't speak on development and West Bengal's girl child welfare scheme but talks about 'Trinamool syndicate'. He has stooped so low that even his pandal has fallen, Mr. Roy says.
Shall I talk about the 'Modi syndicate.' The Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi and another Modi is plundering the nation, he says.
It has become an habit for the Prime Minister to travel. The PM has spent Rs.1800 crore on foreign travels. "What has been achieved in this globetrotting?"
The Prime Minister calls his rallies Kisan Sankalp Rally but farmer suicides continue unabetted. When farmers protest, like in Mandsaur, the police kill them, Mr. Roy says. He claims the MSP hike an eyewash as it doesn't follow Swaminathan panel suggestions.
Step-motherly treatment to Tamil Nadu, claims MP
P. Venugopal of AIADMK rises to speak. He says the relationship between Centre and States are like that of mother and her children. But the mother is meting out step-motherly treatment to some States, he says.
Quoting that India is the sixth largest economy, Mr. Venugopal says Tamil Nadu is one of the key States to achieve this. There is an unpaid claims of Rs. 6066.5 crores pending with the Centre. The Chief Minister has written twice, but funds haven't been released, he says. The State is yet to recieve arrears to the tune of Rs. 1100 crores, Mr. Venugopal says.
Women safety and mob lynching are important issues. The main reason in unemployment, poverty and drug menace. The Centre cannot say it's a State issue. States don't produce drugs. It's being smuggled from other countries. The Centre should ensure border is not porus, he says.
Mr. Venugopal thanks the Prime Minister for constituting the Cauvery Board. Let the people decide in 2019, says Mr. Venugopal hinting that his party may stay away from voting.
Nirmala vs Congress
Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister responds on Rafale deal. She says the agreement of secrecy was signed by the then Defence Minister and this agreement clearly mentions the value of the jets cannot be disclosed, she says.
Quoting a media report, Ms. Sitharaman says the French President has said if the confidentiality clause is violated, we would take it seriously.
Congress members raise objection to Ms. Sitharaman taking the name of former defence minister.
Harsimrat Kaur says this is Parliament. There is no place for Munna Bhai's jaadhu ji jhappi.
Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) raises Point of Order. The minister should present the papers supporting his/her claims, he says. Ms. Sitharaman says she has already showed the proof.
'You call me pappu, I have nothing against you'
The Prime Minister and Mr Amit Shah are different type of politicians. They are not like us (Congress). We are okay with winning and losing, staying in and out of power. But they cannot afford to lose power. They fear losing power. It is this fear that is turning as anger, Mr. Gandhi says.
I thank the Prime Minister for showing me the importance of Congress, the true meaning of Lod Shiva, says Rahul Gandhi. I know I am a pappu for you, but I don't have any anger against you, says Mr. Gandhi.
Mr. Gandhi walks up to Mr. Modi and hugs him.
Lok Sabha reconvenes and Rahul Gandhi continues his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Quoting an Economist article critical of women safety in India, Mr. Gandhi claims the image of the nation regarding the plight of women has fallen to a new level.
A minister is garlanding lynching convicts, says Mr. Gandhi and goes on to speak the incidents of mob violence in the country.
Speaker asks Rahul to temper his words
Congress president Rahul Gandhi says Prime Minister Narendra Modi said farm loans would be waived, but the Finance Minister later said it cannot happen. “Petrol prices are falling everywhere in the world, but only in India, they are rising. Mr. Modi is pocketing money for his rich friends.''
Speaker interrupts him saying that he can lay facts and figures on the table, and that he uses words appropriate for the House.
Treasury Bench demands an apology from Rahul Gandhi. There is ruckus in the House and Mr. Gandhi’s speech stops.
House is adjourned till 1.55 p.m.
Modi and Nirmala Sitharaman have lied to the country, Rahul Gandhi says
Rahul Gandhi says the government has taken money from small businessmen and the poor.
“The Prime Minister’s face comes on the Jio ad. It means he only cares about the rich.” He says that Mr. Modi called himself the chowkidaar of the country.
The Treasury Benches raise their voices in protest once Rahul Gandhi mentions the Rafale deal. Mr. Gandhi says Mr. Modi and Nirmala Sitharaman, the Defence Minister, have lied to the nation. He says he met the French President and that the latter said there was no deal between India and France.
He says that Mr. Modi has a close relationship with certain businessmen, and that one of the businessmen was given the Rafale contract, after it was taken away from HAL. “We can all see the money being spent on marketing Mr. Modi.” He says the Prime Minister must answer in this House if the Cabinet Committee for Security took this decision. “Why was the contract taken away from HAL and the youngsters of Karnataka and given to this businessman who has a debt of ₹30,000 crore?”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar says that Mr. Gandhi’s allegations are in a defamatory manner. He reads our rule 353.
“No allegation of a defamatory or incriminatory nature shall be made by a member against any person unless the member has given adequate advance notice to the Speaker and also to the Minister concerned so that the Minister may be able to make an investigation into the matter for the purpose of a reply.”
He says that Xi Jinping came to Gujarat, and the Prime Minister sat on a swing with Mr. Xi — jhoola, jhoola . “The Chinese premier went back and then attacked us at Doklam.” A few days later, Mr. Gandhi says, Mr. Modi visited China without an agenda. He alleges that Mr. Modi did not visit without an agenda, but instead that it was China’s agenda on the cards.
He says that Mr. Modi is not the chowkidaar , but the bhaagidaar.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi rises to speak next.
“I heard Mr. Galla’s speech very carefully. In your speech, I sensed a certain anxiety and a deep feeling of pain. I want to tell you that you are the victim of a 21st century political weapon. The political weapon is called the jumla strike.”
He describes it as a great sense of excitement, happiness, followed by a feeling of shock and eight-hour long speeches. The victims are the farmers, the youngsters, dalits, tribals and the women of the country, he says.
He lists the government’s election promises as examples of jumla — ₹15 lakh in each citizen’s bank account, jobs for two crore youths. He says the truth is that only four lakh youths have jobs now.
China has given 50,000 youths jobs in 24 hours, while this government has given only 400 youths jobs in 24 hours. He refers to the Prime Minister’s pakora statement.
“At 8 p.m., you took action on black money by bringing in demonetisation. You didn’t understand that the poor have only cash. And today, India has the highest unemployment. This is what the Prime Minister’s word means.”
He then goes on to say that GST was brought by the Congress. “You opposed it as Gujarat Chief Minister,” he says. The PM’s GST has five different GSTs, and you sent the Income Tax department to small businesses.
He says that Prime Minister speaks only to “suit-boot” corporates and not small businessmen.
People will never accept such a motion: Rakesh Singh
Rakesh Singh of the BJP starts listing out all the schemes that were started 20-30 years back during the Congress’ time, which were now completed by the NDA government.
He then goes on to speak about the progress brought about in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh by the BJP government.
Members object to his speech. Mr. Singh tells a Member that if he does such things, he won’t be reelected.
Opposition continues to disrupt Mr. Singh’s speech. He says that country wants to know why there is a no-confidence motion, when the government is functioning so well.
He says that the Opposition is against Mr. Modi’s popularity and that the people will never accept such a motion.
In the last four years, India’s name has been burnished, he says. With this he concludes his speech, saying there is no need for a no-confidence motion.
‘In 70 years, even on Diwali, there was no electricity’
The whole world is saying that all government schemes are not to divide people, but fulfil the needs of the people, says Rakesh Singh of the BJP.
He says the Congress has given the country a tainted government.
He says that if earlier governments had cared about the women of the country, then poor women would not have had to live with chulhas for cooking. He credits Mr. Modi with giving LPG to poor women.
He says that the government is proud to announce that in the first time in the history of independent India, every village is electrified. “In 70 years, even on Diwali, there was no electricity. With Saubhagya Yojana, every village now has electricity. This is not for those houses, but for coming generations.”
He also credits the Prime Minister’s Jan Aushadhi Scheme for providing free medicines to people. Mr. Singh says under the Modi government, cleanliness has finally become important, something the Congress had ignored all these years.
The Jabalpur MP says that bureaucracy under the Congress was slow to respond and sluggish in action. He says that, in the last four years, there has been a marked change in the way the bureaucracy functions.
He cites the government’s “surgical strikes” as an example of strong action against hostile neighbours.
“We have even built a temple in a Muslim nation,” says Mr. Singh. The MP first refers to the country as Saudi Arabia, but after shouting from the Opposition, corrects himself saying he meant the UAE.
‘Congress ran a scam regime’
Rakesh Singh of BJP is the next member to speak. Before he can begin speaking the Treasury Benches rise in protest against an unparliamentary word used by the TDP Member. Shouting commences in the House. Speaker says she will expunge the remark if the record proves it.
Mr. Singh says that democracy has to be strong for the country to develop and be stable. He says democracy does not mean only their government. “Any government, formed by any party should have the freedom to function.”
He says the government’s work in the development of the country is not over. He says that on listening to Mr. Galla’s speech, there seems to be no strong reason to bring a no-confidence motion.
He says that Mr. Galla cursed the government, but he is cursed for siding with the Congress. He cites Karnataka Chief Minister J.D. Kumaraswamy crying after entering into an alliance with the Congress. Shouts of condemnation are heard from the Opposition Benches.
He says the government has the mandate of the people. Mr. Singh says the Opposition wants to stop from Narendra Modi winning. In 70 years after Independence, he says that one family from the Congress has ruled the country for 48 years. He credits the 10 years under Dr. Manmohan Singh to Sonia Gandhi.
He calls the Congress a “scam regime.”
Mr. Singh, a Member representing the Jabalpur constituency, says that for the first time in 70 years, people are seeing a change in their lives. “We can now see happiness in the faces of the poor.” He goes on to list the different schemes the government has started in the last four years.
Shouting can be heard from Congress Members. Speaker asks them to sit down, and says nothing they say will go on the record.
‘We only ask justice’
Jayadev Galla of the TDP says ₹3000 crore each have been alloted to build statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat and Chatrapati Shivaji in Maharashtra, but this government is allotting just over Rs. 1000 crore for creating the Capital of Amaravati. "Statues are getting more funds than capital," he says.
Mr. Galla claims more funds are being alloted for GIFT City in Gujarat and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra. Mr. Modi wanted to create a capital city like Astana in Kazhakstan. Any idea how much was spent in creating the city, he asks.
We have spent 98 per cent funds received, he says.
AP has been given less funds than the amount spent on making Bahubali cinema, Mr. Galla says.
TDP made four four long years, and five budgets. We requested, protested, walk out of government. Nothing has happened, he says. I am not against bifurcation. I am against the way it was bifurcated... in a most undemocratic manner, he says.
Telangana members object to his remarks.
Mr. Galla's speech is halted as his time limit has ended. TDP members protest. Speaker allows him to give concluding remarks.
"From AP we have become residual AP. We are not asking to turn the clock back. We only ask justice," He ends the speech quoting Sardar Patel.
'AP got only 2-3 per cent of its requirements'
Rs. 2.3 lakh cores are being collected through cess and it is not being shared to the States, Jayadev Galla of the TDP says.
After the 14th Finance Commission, the AP will be the only revenue deficit State. The Union Government is treating AP on par with the northeastern states, while we are a southern State.
The BJP claims they have given Rs. 13,472 crores. Out of 16,000 crore deficit, they have given only about Rs. 3000 crores. For the new capital we have been given only Rs. 1000 crores. We want over a lakh crore. You have given only 2-3 per cent of our requirement, he says.
'We were deceived by the FM'
On allegations that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has changed his goal posts after being part of the Union Government for four years, Jayadev Galla of the TDP says they "were deceived by the assurances made by the Finance Minister."
Mr. Galla says the "special package" assured to backward districts of the Andhra Pradesh was actually for 150 such districts across the country. Mr. Galla says the per head allocation is just Rs. 428. He also claims Bundelkhand and Madhya Pradesh got a better deal.
Mr. Galla says the State government has utilised the funds released by the States and he has data to support it. While we are waiting for Rs. 12,000 crores to be released, the Finance Minister says only Rs. 100 crores would be released, he says.
Members claim Mr. Galla is speaking beyond the prescribed time. "He is the mover, let him speak," Speaker says.
Galla targets PM in his speech
Jayadev Galla of the TDP accuses the Congress party of slicing the Telugu Talli in two pieces in the most unscientific way.
Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat Chief Minister, had said Congress has killed the mother and saved the child. "Had I been there, I would have saved the mother too," Mr. Galla quotes Mr. Modi. The people of AP fell flat for Mr. Modi's words. Mr. Prime Minister, do you have any respects for the word.
"Mr. Prime Minister, you had asked if the people wanted a Seemandhra, or Scam Andhra?, but you are protecting the family of Galli Janardhan Reddy," he says.
(The Reddy brothers were named as accused in Karnataka mining scam)
Quoting Article 4 of Constitution, Mr. Galla says the assurances made in the Parliament has to be fullfilled. He also says the 14th Finance Commission also betrays the State.
Mr. Galla seeks more time to speak. Speaker allots five more minutes.
The BJP's manifesto mentions about Special Category Status. The NITI Aayog wanted to continue with SCS. Bihar and Puducherry supported granting SCS to Andhra Pradesh. "I appeal with folded hands to grant the SCS to Andhra Pradesh," he says.
After BJD, the Shiv Sena has decided to stay away from the Lok Sabha on Friday. The Shiv Sena, an NDA ally, has 18 members.
'AP is the loser in reorganisation'
Rs. 1.3 lakh crore loan burden is being put on the Andhra Pradesh. The state is a loser as during reorganisation funds were divided based on population, and resources were based on location, Jayadev Galla of the TDP says.
Power was based on consumption, again AP is the loser, he says.
Ruckus in parliament as Telangana members protest.
Both the governments betrayed the State, says Mr. Galla, who claims the government's reason for not granting a Special Category Status as the State is better-off than other Indian States.
The State is one of the five southern States, and AP not better than it's neighbours, Mr. Galla says presenting the comparison data.
Telangana is not the new State, but AP: Galla
TDP member Srinivas Kesineni moves motion "That this House expresses its want of confidence in the Council of Ministers"
TDP member Jayadev Galla is the first member to speak. He begins the speech by thanking parties such as RJD, Trinamool, CPI(M), AAP and others who have supported the move.
Mr. Galla, the first-time MP begins his speech quoting a Telugu movie "Bharath Ane Nenu", a Mahesh Babu starrer blockbuster of a NRI son taking up the reigns of the State following his father's death. The theme of the movie, Mr. Galla says, was "a promise is a promise."
Issues of Andhra Pradesh is a national issue and an emotional issue for the people of the State, he says.
The motion is brought on four points: fairness, trust, priority, and bias. Actually, it's the lack of four points, Mr. Galla says.
Mr. Galla claims it's not Telangana, but Andhra Pradesh, which is the new state, since it have to create a new capital. He says the AP Reorganisation Act was passed undemocratically, by bulldozing the Parliament. Members of Congress and BJP object to his remarks. Mr. Galla continues to speak.
BJD walks out
Speaker announces the House that she is now going to take up the no-confidence motion against the government. She says the House would skip the lunch, if needed. She says she expects the voting on motion to be held at 6.00 pm.
Opposition Leader Mallikarjun Kharge requests the Speaker not to put limitation on the basis of time. There are precedence that no-confidence motions have been discussed for two days, he says. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar says Mr. Kharge is trying to play Tests in the time of One Day Internationals.
Bhartruhari Mahtab of BJD says his party is walking out of the House "since both the UPA and NDA governments haven't done much to Odisha."
Rajya Sabha convenes. Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair. He is reading the obituary reference of Balasubba Rao, a former member of the House. The House mourns the demise of the late Rao. House is adjourned.
Lok Sabha convenes. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair. Members are laying papers against their names.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar expresses confidence the government will win the no-confidence motion.
"The people of India have overwhelmingly supported us in every election since 2014," Mr. Kumar.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to start the debate from the government's side.
Congress leader Mallikharjun Kharge, meanwhile, says he is displeased with the amount of time alloted for each party to participate in the debate.
Will use no-confidence motion to expose govt’s ‘ failures’: Congress
The Congress on Thursday said that the ‘no-confidence motion’ was more than a show of numbers and it will use the occasion to “expose” the government’s “failure."
Addressing a press conference, Congress’ senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said his party has the support of other opposition parties on the no-confidence motion which has been brought “to show the mirror to the government”, highlight the various issues concerning the people of the country and ensure that the truth reaches them.
“It is not only a question of numbers. We will use the occasion to expose the government and raise various issues concerning the people of the country and tell the truth to the people.
“Our campaign is to expose them, tell the people the truth so that they are deposed for good when the general elections are there. So, this is the launch of a campaign which will eventually send them packing in 2019,” he told reporters.
Mr. Sharma claimed that the opposition parties are together, except for those who were their allies.
Either support or remain neutral: TDP's strategy
The Telugu Desam Party has decided to field Guntur MP Jayadev Galla, who was hailed in social media for his power-packed speech in Parliament during the Budget session in February, to initiate the debate though Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) had moved the motion.
Party supremo and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday wrote letters to the MPs of all political parties seeking support to the motion. His bottomline message to his own party MPs was “No party should oppose us. See that either they support us or remain neutral.”
The numbers game
The BJP has the numbers to coast through the no-confidence motion. The party currently has 273 members. The total strength of Lok Sabha is now 534, excluding the Speaker, since 10 seats are lying vacant.
The BJP-led NDA has 312 members, while the majority mark is 268. The BJP is hopeful that regional parties like AIADMK, BJD, TRS — which has 37, 19 and 11 members- will either support it or abstain from voting.
Though the numbers are heavily stacked against the Opposition, the Congress and other parties have indicated that they are keen to utilise the debate to attack the government on a range of of issues including farm distress, slow economic growth and rising incidents of lynching.
BJP will look to send political message to Opposition
The no-trust move in Parliament is a good time for the BJP to delineate its political message for the 2019 General Elections, a set piece that will pit Prime Minister Modi against an Opposition that is uniting to take him on.
Important day in Parliamentary democracy: Modi
Ahead of the session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying, "Today is an important day in our Parliamentary democracy. I am sure my fellow MP colleagues will rise to the occasion and ensure a constructive, comprehensive & disruption free debate."
While notices were moved by Opposition MPs in the last budget session, 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.
The government is confident not just of facing the motion but also getting more votes than the strength of the NDA. The Congress, too, on its part claimed that it has the numbers.