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Who Says We Don’t Have Numbers, Asks Sonia Gandhi on No-Trust Vote, But BJP is Not Worried

The motion that was moved at the insistence of former NDA ally Telugu Desam Party will be put to vote on Friday and the BJP believes that the government will get the support of as many as 314 MPs in the Lok Sabha.

News18.com

Updated:July 18, 2018, 7:59 PM IST
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Who Says We Don’t Have Numbers, Asks Sonia Gandhi on No-Trust Vote, But BJP is Not Worried
File photo of former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)
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New Delhi: A no-confidence motion was today moved against the Narendra Modi government in Lok Sabha and both the TDP and the opposition have expressed confidence that they can muster up the required numbers.

While the odds seem to be stacked against the opposition, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi refuted claims that the motion was just a pressure tactic. “Who says we don’t have the numbers,” she shot back when asked about it.

The motion that was moved at the insistence of former NDA ally Telugu Desam Party will be put to vote on Friday and the BJP believes that the government will get the support of as many as 314 MPs in the Lok Sabha.

According to the estimate by the party's floor managers, the government is likely to get support from small parties outside the NDA such as Anbumani Ramadoss-led PMK and Raju Shetty-led Swabhimani Paksha.

Although Shetty and Ramadoss are no longer members of the NDA, but the government believes that they would support it during the vote on the motion. Sources in the party said the Narendra Modi-led government would get the support of 314 MPs in the lower house, which has an effective strength of 535 members.

The list of the 314 MPs, however, does not include Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is also a BJP MP, they said. The majority mark is 268.

Talking to reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the NDA was united and would vote against the motion. "We are hopeful that we will get support from parties outside NDA as well. It is strange that opposition brings this motion despite the fact that the BJP got majority on its own and NDA is ruling in 21 states," he said.

Kumar said the party has also issued a whip to its Lok Sabha members for two days and asked them to be present in the House.

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 TMC has also issued a whip to its members and more parties are likely to follow suit.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday announced that the House would take up the debate (on the no-confidence motion) moved by many opposition parties on issues like special status to Andhra Pradesh, cow vigilantism, lynching, atrocities against women and Dalits and alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act, on July 20.
"The discussion will be held for the full day, followed by voting on it," she said, adding that there would be no Question Hour on that day.

Mahajan had not accepted notices for a similar motion during the budget session, which was washed out due to continued uproar by TDP, TRS and some opposition parties.

The motion was rejected by the Speaker on the ground that the House was not in order as there were continuous protests in the Well by opposition members on various issues.
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