LS to debate no-confidence motion against Modi govt on Friday

New Delhi, Jul 18 (PTI) An opposition-sponsored no- confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, moved for the first time since the BJP-led dispensation came to power four years ago, would be taken up for debate in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

On the first day of the Monsoon Session today, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan admitted the notices for the motion moved by several opposition parties and asked TDP’s Kesineni Srinivas to move his motion.

Later, she announced that “the House will take up the debate (on the motion) on Friday, July 20th. The discussion will be held for the full day, followed by voting on it.”

She also said there will be no Question Hour on that day and the House would have no other business, barring the discussion on the no-confidence motion.

Earlier, the Speaker had announed that she would announce the date for the debate in 2-3 days.

During the Zero Hour, she named all members from TDP, Congress and NCP, among others, who had moved similar no- confidence motion notices.

“More than 50 members are supporting the motion, so the leave is granted (to bring in no-confidence motion),” Mahajan said while accepting the notice.

The Opposition parties have brought the motion against the government on several issues like special status to Andhra Pradesh, cow vigilantism, lynchings, atrocities against women and dalits and alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government is prepared to face the no-confidence motion brought in by several parties. “The entire country has confidence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

In a House of 535 members, the ruling National Democratic Alliance has 313 members in the Lok Sabha, including 274 (including the Speaker) of BJP, 18 of Shiv Sena, six LJP and four SAD.

The stated strength of the Opposition is 222, including 63 of the Congress-led UPA, 37 of AIADMK, 34 of TMC, 20 BJD, 16 TDP and 11 TRS.

The opposition moves for a no-confidence motion were not allowed in the last Budget Session that was washed out due to continued uproar by TDP, TRS and some other parties demanding that government agree to the motion.

The Speaker had then disallowed them on the ground that the House was not in order as there was continuous upoar and protests in the Well by members on various issues.

Kasineni Srinivas of the TDP, which had quit the ruling NDA coalition in March protesting against the government not giving a special package to Andhra Pradesh, had moved the motion during Zero Hour which was admitted by the Speaker.

Soon thereafter, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the largest party be allowed to move the motion.

But Mahajan said as per rules, the party which raises the motion first, gets to move it. “It’s not a question of big party, small party… Those who brought the no-confidence motion, I read all the rules. The person who first brought the motion, has to be called first,” she said.

As Kharge pressed with the demand that all members who brought in the motion should be allowed to move it, an angry Mahajan said “You go through the record… I have gone according to the rule”.

When the Speaker announced that the debate would be held on Friday, Trinamool Congress leade Dinesh Trivedi urged her to defer it till Monday saying it had a scheduled programme.

However, later outside the House, they said all TMC MPs would attend the debate and participate in the voting on the motion, which has been slated on Friday.

Soon after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that the discussion on the no-confidence motion would be held on Friday, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi urged her to change the date as his party MPs would not be present in Delhi as they had pre-scheduled event in Kolkata.

He was supported by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also.

But Mahajan said a decision has already been taken.

Later Trivedi spoke to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on phone about the situation and told reporters that the Chief Minister has conveyed to him that the TMC MPs would be present in the House for the discussion on July 20.

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