The four-year-old Narendra Modi government is facing its first no-confidence motion today. While the ruling BJP has expressed confidence that it will be able to defeat the motion, the opposition parties say it will use the opportunity to show the mirror to the government. TDP’s Jayadev Galla initiated the debate, while Rahul Gandhi may lead Congress’ attack against the government.
All parties have issued whips to their MPs to be present in the House. There will be no question Hour and the House would have no other business barring the discussion on the motion that will take place from 11 am to 6 pm. After this voting will be held.
As the main mover of the motion, the TDP has been allocated 13 minutes to speak on the matter
Congress has been allocated 38 minutes. Other opposition parties such as the AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samithi have been allocated 29 minutes, 27 minutes, 15 minutes and nine minutes respectively.
The BJP has been given 3 hours and 33 minutes. Prime Minister will reply to the debate where he is expected to take on the Opposition and their claims of unity in the ranks.
In a House with the current strength of 534 MPs, the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) has 313 members including 273 of the BJP (not including the Speaker), 18 of Shiv Sena, six of Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and four from Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD). The majority mark in the House is 268. There are 11 vacancies.
Ahead of the no-confidence vote in Lok Sabha, the opposition Congress has said it’s more than a show of numbers as the party will use the occasion to highlight the government’s failure.
“It is not only a question of numbers. The opposition will raise various issues concerning the people of the country. Our campaign is to expose the government and tell the truth to the people,” senior Spokesperson of the Congress Anand Sharma told reporters.
He also said the Congress and other opposition parties will use the occasion to highlight the failures of the government and show them the mirror. “This is the launch of a campaign which will send them packing in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”
The ruling BJP, on the other hand, is confident that it will defeat the Opposition-sponsored motion. “We will get new support. It will be from the South, East and all other directions,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.
The Party’s floor managers claim that the government will get the support of as many as 314 MPs. It is also likely to get the support of several other parties outside the NDA.
“The numbers are very clear. The BJP by itself has a majority in the lower house. We have nearly 314 members within the NDA and there are many other parties which are likely to oppose this no-confidence motion,” BJP national spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
The government, meanwhile, is preparing to blunt the Opposition offensive. All central ministries and departments have been directed to prepare a list of achievements of the government, which will be highlighted during the debate in Lok Sabha.