POLI-TICKLING : The No-Confidence Motion

By Aditya Roy

September 22, 2020

The lackluster performance of the Indian National Congress and its allies in the recently concluded Karnataka elections silently pre-empts the debacle that the Rahul Gandhi-led UPA is about to suffer at the hands of the BJP-led NDA. Despite certain hiccups in its alliance with TDP and the self-confessed custodians of Maharastra, Shiv Sena, Narendra Modi’s cabinet has been quite competent in holding the fort at center, and is heading with a lot of confidence towards the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.

The opposition seems to be in a state of haywire and is seemingly trying every last option available in its arsenal to give the NDA a red herring and throw them of course in their path of reclaiming the power in Delhi in 2019. In lieu of this political drama the monsoon session of the Parliament began with the No-confidence debate. It was a clear illustration of the last futile attempt of the opposition to capitalize on the TDP’s no-confidence motion. Although the No-Confidence motion was put forward by the TDP against the Centre over the Andhra Pradesh special status issue The move was also supported by many other opposition parties. 

The event : As it unfolded

The event unfolded with a barrage of allegations being thrown at the ruling party. There are many across the Indian Political sphere who call it a desperate move, in order to check the course of a the BJP vs Grand all party alliance, which pretty much looks to be going down the hill, while it was necessary for the Govt. to undergo this litmus test and double-check it’s performance on the claims and schemes that it had promised during the 2014 election campaign. Either way it went pretty well for the Government. Some of the allegations are her as follows:-

TDP’s no-confidence motion was defeated in Lok Sabha, as 325 MPs backed government, reassuring the return of Narendra Modi as the leader of the house in 2019.

PM Modi said that the government stands with the Muslim women in their quest for justice and equality, thus reiterating government’s stand on women issues and women empowerment.  

PM Modi lashed out at Congress saying the opposition party looted the banks when they were in power at the center. Thus re-tagging Congress and it’s allies as financially and morally corrupt.

Home minister Rajnath Singh took part in no-trust debate, saying BJP did not try to destabilize the UPA governments under Dr Manmohan Singh. A government should allowed to continue on the basis of its strong performance during the course of 4 years. Thus very smartly mustering the sympathy vote.

On the statements made by Mohammed Salim of CPM in regards to the women safety in India, Prime Minister said that the government stands with the Muslim women in their quest for justice and equality.

 

The Govt. and in fact the ruling party was able to counter most of the allegations and doubts raised by the opposition, yet there were some answers and counter statements form the Prime Minister and his council were merely of the rhetorical variety.  The ambiguity  still persists regarding the same.

 
 

Questions answered-unanswered

The Prime Minister made it clear that his campaign for 2019 might not be any different from 2014. The bulk of his reply to the motion focussed on attacking previous Congress regimes exactly the way he launched his campaign in the run-up to the 2014 elections. Although most of these claims have already become contentious, Modi cited the same numbers that his partymen have been touting for months. In many ways, his speech sounded repetitive. While he talked about his achievements, he did not touch upon many of the crucial issues that the opposition raised through the day.

Modi attacked the opposition for being “pessimistic” and “misleading the public” through false propaganda. This is because the opposition, according to the prime minister, “has no confidence in itself”.

To the opposition’s charge that minority groups are at the receiving end of Hindutva violence, Prime Minister replied that the last 18,000 villages his government electrified are inhabited by Dalits and adivasis. In turn, he accused the Congress of deliberately ignoring these villages as it did not bring the party any substantial gain.

In response to Rahul Gandhi’s criticism that the NDA took care of big businesses at the cost of farmers and small businessmen, Modi asserted his government’s pro-poor stance and presented a long list of schemes that he felt would benefit all.

Today, around Rs 80,000 crore has been deposited in more than 32 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts. Eight crore toilets have been built. More than 4.5 crore women are leading smoke-free lives because of our Ujjwala scheme. At the same time, lakhs would benefit from Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme. Rs 80,000 crore is being spent on irrigation projects. Why couldn’t the Congress introduce these?” he asked. 

The prime minister remained silent on the issue of increasing mob lynching incidents (other than to urge state governments to act) and did not give a clear answer to the controversial Rafale combat planes deal (the cost of which remained unanswered). Nor did he address the concerns raised on the security of Dalits and minorities. While he focussed on the economy, he dismissed social concerns as merely a part of the opposition’s “pessimistic” politics.

Throughout his speech, his primary concern was to outwit the Congress as he touched upon the issue of Andhra Pradesh’s demand of a special category status only for about five minutes in his lengthy reply.

What Can we infer from the Debate

  1. Rahul Gandhi made an impressive speech but wasted it all by the theatrics of a fake embrace of the man who is a thorn in the side of the Congress party.
  2. His wink after the embrace took away the innocence factor from Rahul Gandhi’s behaviour.It is a matter of concern that the oldest national party is stuck with Rahul Gandhi at the helm.

3. NDA partners, however critical of top gun BJP like the Shiv Sena, decided to close ranks and abstain from the voting. Several other fence-sitters AIADMK, TRS and the BJD also abstained, tilting the scales further in BJP’s favour.

4. Opposition parties, which hoped to ‘expose’ the ruling government, appeared to have fallen into a political trap by moving this motion as their defeat was certain. The debate preceding the vote gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi the opportunity to kickstart the BJP’s 2019 election campaign and he did not fail in grabbing that opportunity.

A senior Congress leader indicated that if the motion ended up being “a battle of rhetoric between Modi and Rahul, then one knows who is the better orator”.

Do you concur with our assessment of the No-Confidence Motion? Let us know in the comment section below. Also show your support by sharing this blog. 

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Aditya Roy

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