New Delhi: The Opposition members looked askance as Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday admitted a no-confidence motion brought against the government by Congress member Gaurav Gogoi, but he did not allow a debate on it. This is the first such motion against the Modi government, requiring just 50 MPs to support its admission.
The rules require an immediate discussion on such a motion as the government can't push its business once the no-confidence motion is admitted, but the Speaker avoided it by declaring that he will fix the timing of the discussion after consulting leaders of various parties.
2nd no-confidence motion
The second no-confidence motion by Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) leader Nam Nageshwar Rao was not taken up since it became infructuous after admission of the motion by Gogoi.
Even after the no-confidence motion was admitted, the Speaker allowed introduction of five other Bills, four of them concerning J&K, even while the Opposition continued slogans over the Manipur issue.
Angry opposition members created an uproar for continuation of the regular business, including passage of the Forest Conservation (amendment) Bill as cleared by the joint parliamentary committee. Presiding BJP member Rajendra Agrawal adjourned the House at 2.35 PM for resumption the next day at 11 AM instead of allowing debate on the no-confidence motion, basically brought to force Prime Minister Modi come to the House and speak on the Manipur issue which he is avoiding by not addressing Parliament on the matter.
The motion requires only the PM to reply as against the government's strategy so far to let Home Minister Amit Shah reply whenever Manipur comes up for discussion. Often used as a strategic tool by the Opposition, the no-confidence motion allows them to question the ruling government, highlight their failures, and discuss them in the House.
This motion also plays a significant role in uniting the opposition. If the motion is passed in the House, the entire cabinet, including the Prime Minister, must resign.
The Opposition knows the Modi government has the number to survive as the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 331 members in the Lok Sabha while the majority mark is 272. The BJP alone as 303 while the opposition INDIA alliance has 144 member and other parties 70.
In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge once again pressed for the Prime Minister to come to the House and speak on the Manipur issues and later led the entire opposition stages a walk-out, the second since Tuesday.
Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav on Wednesday flayed the Opposition demanding a discussion under Rule 267 despite the fact that the chairman has already rejected it and allowed only a short-duration debate as propounded by leader of House Piyush Goyal.