Monsoon Session: Opposition unites, likely to bring No Confidence Motion against Modi
Showing signs of greater unity, the Opposition will bring a no-confidence motion against the NDA government over special status category to Andhra Pradesh. In the previously held Budget session, the differences within the Opposition led to three parties – Congress, TDP and YSRCP – giving separate notice for no-confidence motion. However, better sense seems to have prevailed over the opposition after Congress and 11 other parties have decided to support TDP's decision to move the motion.
In fact, TDP MP Srinivas Kesineni gave notice to Lok Sabha General Secretary to include no-confidence motion in the council of ministers, in the list of business for Wednesday. In his letter, the MP wrote, “Under rule 198 (1) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, I hereby give notice to move the following motion of No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers. Kindly include the same in the Revised List of Business for 18-07-2018 – This House expresses its want of confidence in the Council of Ministers.”
Supporting TDP's decision, the Congress' leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the party will support the motion against the Narendra Modi government. “If the government does its job, it must face the motion of no-confidence. The rule says that if 54 MPs give a motion of no confidence then the chair has to admit it. There is no escape. We have witnessed in the past that even if 100 people stand in support, the motion is not accepted,” he said.
The Monsoon Session beginning Wednesday will yet again see the Opposition sparring with the government over a host of issues including that of special status to Andhra Pradesh. Laying out the blueprint for the upcoming session, the Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge said that during the all party meet, a consensus was reached to raise issues that are important and in the public interest.
He went on to add that during the all party meet it was decided that we will support the government to ensure a smooth functioning of the Parliament. Accusing the Prime Minister and his ministers for misleading the people over non-functioning of Parliament, Kharge said, “Whenever we raise important issues for discussion, they seek new ways to avoid it. That is why the discussion doesn't happen. Thereafter, the PM and BJP leaders blame the opposition for stalling Parliament.”
Slamming the NDA for failing on all fronts, the Congress said that the Opposition would seek a debate with the government on the BJP's manifesto that it came out with in 2014. Congress claimed that the Opposition will also seek a debate on the increasing incidents of lynchings on the pretext of cow protection. The party went on to add that lynching cases have seen a spurt ever since BJP came to power in 2014. In fact, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Parliament to bring a special law to establishing lynching as separate offence with a harsh punishment.
Kharge went on to add that a united opposition will raise other issues including rising unemployment; safety of women; misrule in J&K; restoration the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act; attempts by the government to end reservation in autonomous institutions; farmers' issues; price rise; foreign policy failures; black money; among others. Kharge added that the opposition will also try to seek answers from the government on the Ahmedabad District Cooperation Bank. According to him, Rs 750 crore were deposited in the bank five days before demonetisation was announced by the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Azad said that the Congress will also raise the issue of alleged EVM tampering in Assembly polls and demand going back to the ballot paper system for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Both the leaders exhorted that if the no confidence motion is taken, it will lead to all these issues being discussed threadbare by the opposition. Adding to this, Azad mentioned that the Opposition has collectively identified these issues.
In another development, the suspense over the members of the Congress Working Committee was finally over after the party announced names of individuals who are part of the newly constituted CWC. The party has nominated 18 CWC members along with 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees.
INC COMMUNIQUE— Congress (@INCIndia) July 17, 2018
Announcement of the constitution of the Congress Working Committee and the Permanent and Special invitees to the CWC. pic.twitter.com/x9uBsEOZa7