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“Not About Numbers”: What Opposition Wants From No-Confidence Motion

“Not About Numbers”: What Opposition Wants From No-Confidence Motion

The BJP has 301 seats including that of the Speaker, which vaults over the majority mark.

New Delhi:

The itinerary for the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government will be discussed tomorrow between the Speaker and the political parties. The opposition, low on numbers, is not expecting to get the motion passed. Its only aim, sources said, is to get Prime Minister to speak on Manipur — a demand that the government has so far brushed off. The government is willing to allow only a discussion and a statement from the Union Home Minister.  

In the 543-member Lok Sabha, five seats are vacant, bringing down the majority mark to 270.

The BJP has 301 seats including that of the Speaker, which vaults over the majority mark. The total NDA figure with allies reaches 331.

There are also the ‘non-aligned parties’ — 10 including YSR Congress, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and BSP and TDP — which can give indirect support to the government by remaining absent and thereby bringing down the majority mark.

The opposition is trailing far behind. The total numbers the united opposition front can tote up is 143. If smaller parties that are not siding with the BJP are included, the number reaches 159.

The Congress, aware of how the land lies, has said the proposal was brought so that PM Modi could be forced to make a statement on Manipur in the House.

“INDIA alliance is aware of its numbers in the Lok Sabha but this is not just about numbers. This is about Manipur’s fight for justice,” said Congress’s Gaurav Gogoi.

“A message should go out to the brothers and sisters of Manipur that PM Modi might have forgotten Manipur but INDIA alliance stands with them in this hour of grief and we are fighting for their rights, inside the Parliament,” he said.

“We want to tell PM Modi to come to parliament and address the nation as this matter is not about Manipur alone anymore but it has spread over to other states as well. In the interest of national security and integrity of the country, the PM should address the country from inside parliament,” he added.

Tomorrow Speaker Om Birla will hold a discussion with leaders of all parties regarding the debate on the motion. Discussion will also be held on how much time each party will get to speak. Sources said the motion can be tabled next week.

The monsoon session of parliament, which started on July 20 and will continue till August 11, has so far been stymied over the situation in Manipur, which has been witnessing violence since May.

The session started a day after a video of two tribal women being marched naked and allegedly gangraped went viral, which gave a sharper edge to the opposition attack.

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