The no-confidence motion moved by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) faced a heavy defeat at the Lok Sabha on July 20, 2018.
After a marathon 12-hour debate, the no-confidence, which saw support from many opposition parties including the Congress, was rejected by the majority of the house. The motion was defeated with 325 votes against and 126 in favour with 451 members of the parliament present and voting.
• The no-confidence motion was moved by TDP, a former NDA ally. The parties that supported the motion include Congress, CPI, CPI (M), TMC and AAP.
• While there were no abstentions from the members present in the house, the members of the Shiv Sena gave the vote a miss and the BJD staged a walkout right before the debate began.
• Though the TRS participated in the debate on the no-confidence motion, its 11 MPs did not vote.
• A total of 451 out of 534 MPs were present and voting in the house, bringing down the required majority mark to 226.
• The government obtained a two-thirds majority of the votes. Several AIADMK members supported the government and voted against the motion.
• This was the first no-trust motion against Narendra Modi- led NDA government after it came to power in May 2014 and less than a year before the next general elections. It is also the first no-trust vote in 15 years.
In a House of 535 members, the ruling NDA has 313 members including 274 (including the Speaker) of BJP, 18 of Shiv Sena, six LJP and four SAD.
The stated strength of the Opposition was 222, including 63 of the Congress-led UPA, 37 of AIADMK, 34 of TMC, 20 BJD, 16 TDP and 11 TRS.
Key Attacks by the Opposition
A host of issues were brought up by the opposition during their presentation of the debate including special status for Andhra Pradesh, the secrecy of the Rafale deal with the French Government, distress of the farmers, safety and security of women, increase in mob lynching incidents, demonetisation and its negative impact on the Indian economy and the alleged dilution of the Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act.
Initiating the discussion, Jayadev Galla of Telugu Desam Party charged the NDA regime with making empty promises to Andhra Pradesh from the time of its bifurcation in 2014.
In his 58 min long speech, Congress President Rahul Gandhi touched upon several topics including women’s safety, GST.
The Congress President accused the government that Andhra Pradesh, farmers, youngsters, Dalits, tribals and women are victims of a fantastic 21st-century political weapon- the jumla strike.
He also stated that while the Prime Minister promised to provide jobs to 2 cr people every year, in 2016-17 only 4 lakh got jobs.
He further stated that the farm loans are not waived but loans of industrialists are. He pointed out that the Modi-led NDA government had waived off Rs 2.5 lakh crore worth dept of top industrialists.
A bulk of Gandhi’s speech, was, however, zeroed in on allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal with France and he accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of speaking an untruth, as she had refused to divulge the details of the deal citing a secrecy agreement with France.
Gandhi said that Rs 520 crore was the cost of the Rafale aircraft under the UPA government, while under NDA it is Rs 1600 crore.
Key Replies by Government
Modi rejected the allegations on Rafale deal and assured the House that the governments of India and France signed the pact maintaining full transparency.
On the incidents of lynching, the Prime Minister urged all state governments to punish those who indulge in violence saying that any such incident brings shame to the nation. BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi called the incidents of mob lynching a result of economic disparity.
On Black Money, Modi said that the government had taken action against over 2 lakh 50,000 shell companies and they have been closed now. He also informed the house that another 2 lakh such companies are under scanner.
On Non Performing Assets issues, the Prime Minister said, the problem has been inherited from the UPA government. He accused the Congress of giving new loans without recovering the old ones.
Modi asserted that during 60 years, only 18 lakh crore loans were sanctioned but during the period from 2008 to 2014, the amount reached 52 lakh crore rupees.
On the issue of demand of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, the Prime Minister assured the House and the people of Andhra Pradesh that his government will continue to work for them and will do everything possible for the development. He said that the government is committed to the development of the state.
While concluding, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the NDA will return to power next year and challenged the opposition to bring the No Confidence again in 2024.
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