No-trust motion against Modi govt fails
21 July 2018
The ruling national Democratic Alliance (NDA) defeated the no-confidence motion with 325 votes against the 126 of an opposition in disarray, despite chinks within the ruling coalition.
The proceedings of the no-trust motion bared the fault lines within the proposed grand alliance against the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as also within the ruling coalition.
The motion was moved by former NDA partner Telugu Desham Party (TDP) while BJP’s oldest ally, the Shiv Sena, abstained from voting.
From the opposition ranks, the AIADMK voted with the government while the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) boycotted the debate and the voting.
The no-confidence motion getting defeated was a foregone conclusion with the opposition merely trading unsubstantiated accusations against the ruling party and the main opposition Congress Party feeling insecure with its president Rahul Gandhi hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called him “immature and insecure” and warned him against “playing with national security for selfish ends”.
It was high drama in the Lok Sabha during the debate on no-confidence motion with Rahul Gandhi delivering a vitriolic speech against the PM, accusing him of “favouring his rich friends” and then abruptly hugging him.
Gandhi also said the PM had turned from “chowkidaar to bhaagidaar (from gatekeeper to colluder)”.
The PM, in his reply, said Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have engineered the no-trust motion to destabilise the country. “It is not wisdom or generosity that makes you come here and stand in front of me. It is just a desire to remove Modi and acquire power that makes you act in this manner,” said Modi. He took a jibe at Sonia Gandhi’s assertion earlier this week that “we have the numbers”.
“The Congress is in the habit of destabilising governments because one family cannot see anyone else in power. We heard the same statement ‘we have 272 and more are coming’ in 1999 when Atalji (Atal Behari Vajpayee’s) government was brought down by just one vote. The same modus operandi was repeated with H D Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujaral and Chandrashekhar and Charan Singh earlier,” said Modi.
The ruling party will move a privilege motion against the Congress president for his references to a “shady deal” which, he said, escalated the price of the Rafale fighter jets from Rs520 crore per jet to Rs1,600 per jet.
Gandhi also said he had met the French President who told him that there was no problem in sharing details relating to the Rafale deal in contrast to the defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman who had cited a secrecy pact as the reason for not sharing details, including cost of equipment and weapons.
Ahead of the debate over the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha on Friday, the government on Thursday deferred introduction of the bill to change the Right to Information law in Rajya Sabha after activists and the opposition questioned the proposed amendments, saying these undermine the independence of information commissions.