With numbers stacked up for NDA, Oppn sees trust vote to build its ‘front’

Rajat Kain

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah at party headquarters in New Delhi. PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah at party headquarters in New Delhi.

Flurry of reactions have started to flow down as BJP-led NDA government faces a possibility of trust vote next week after its ally of yesterday, the TDP, broke ranks this morning. While the BJP enjoys comfortable numbers, the move by TDP is keenly observed to gauge the efficacy and relevance of the anti-BJP combine.

Hours after the TDP served notice seeking motion of no-confidence, the government confidently said it has the numbers on its side, in the same breath terming the decision by Andhra Pradesh ally to quit the NDA as “inevitable”.

The motion could not be taken up on Friday in Lok Sabha as the house was adjourned till Monday because of disruptions by the AIADMK and TRS members over their protest on state-related issues.

The TDP had issued a letter on no-confidence motion to the speaker 9.30 Friday morning. Earlier last evening, another Andhra Pradesh based party YSRCP, which is TDP’s state rival, too moved the notice seeking trust vote.

But YSRCP’s move has thus far been viewed with scepticism by the TDP, who is  claiming a nexus between the former and the BJP. “We have no confidence in their no-confidence motion, so we have decided to go on our own,” TDP leader Ramesh said reacting on YSRCP’s move.

While the motion can be accepted only if it has the support of at least 50 members in the House, the TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha, and other party the YSR Congress has nine. This is where the role of other opposition parties becomes crucial.

chandrababu-tdp-ap-cm-400x265The Left has extended its support, and the watchful Congress too is looking to back the move. Congress and TDP have never allied together, with both being traditional rivals in Andhra Pradesh.

“When the Andhra parties bring a no confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, we will support it,” Mohammad Salim of the CPI(M) said.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also hinted that his party would also support the motion but asked the two regional parties to not play politics over the matter.

Some other opposition parties too hinted their stand on the no-confidence motion.

Welcoming TDP’s decision to exit the NDA, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged all opposition parties to work closely.

As the opposition counted its numbers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the whole country has full confidence in Modi as does the House. “The government has the numbers… We are ready to take up everything,” he said.

With the BJP alone having 274 members in the 536-member Lok Sabha and enjoying support of allies, the no-confidence motion, if accepted, is likely to be defeated.

Meanwhile, in a boost to the government, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) led by K Chandrasekhar Rao has ruled out its support for the no-confidence motion against the NDA government, describing the move as a “political gimmick”.

“No question (of supporting the no-confidence motion). It is just a political gimmick. Can they muster 50 per cent of the House (to win the motion)?” TRS parliamentary party leader and secretary general K Keshava Rao said.

(With inputs from PTI)