The chorus for a no-trust motion against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is expected to grow stronger when the Lok Sabha meets again on Monday, 2 April, as the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress seem adamant for the admission of their no confidence notices. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is ready for a debate on the motion and face voting, if necessary. But political analysts believe that in such an eventuality, the facade of unity among the Opposition parties would slip, owing to the differences in their agenda and political goals.
The primary purpose of the no-confidence motion notices issued by all the three parties is to press for the implementation of the promises made to Andhra Pradesh, when undivided AP was bifurcated. The three parties are also pressing for the grant of a special status to the state. Initially, the notice was given by YSR Congress—the TDP and the Congress followed suit soon.
All three want to corner the BJP, accusing it of doing injustice to the state. But once the debate begins, the Opposition parties might end up fighting among themselves, as they have been bitter adversaries of one another in Andhra Pradesh.
After the government stated that it did not have any objection to a debate on the no-trust motion, the three parties are busy drawing up their strategies. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s statement that she was dutybound to take up the notices, have made these parties hopeful that a debate on this will take place in the week beginning Monday.
Three weeks ago, the BJP was a tad nervous of taking on its estranged ally, TDP, on a no-trust motion, but now the situation has changed. BJP president Amit Shah’s open letter to TDP president and AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu last week indicated that the national party was prepared to take the battle to the enemy camp.
The BJP hopes that during the debate, the three parties will also blame one another for the “plight” of Andhra. “We want to see them take out their knives against one another in the Lok Sabha,” BJP MLC Somu Veerraju told this newspaper.
Ahead of the likely no-trust motion, YSR Congress has called for the resignation of its MPs on the last day of the Budget session, likely on or before 6 April. The party has only five LS members, but its leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wants TDP’s 20 MPs to quit too, and in fact make it imperative for the TDP to follow suit, thereby bringing pressure on the Centre to act.
Addressing a gathering in Guntur district as part of his six-month long padayatra, Jagan said that the TDP should come forward to put pressure on the Centre on the special status issue. “We have seen how MPs’ resignations had pressurised the Centre to agree to a separate Telangana and we should follow the same strategy,” he said.
But the TDP is not on the same page, as it believes the MPs need to continue to be in Parliament in order to press for their demands. Chandrababu Naidu has alleged that Jagan is all set to align with the BJP in the next elections and the proposed resignation by his MPs was only a ploy to divert public attention.
Naidu said that the reported “namaskar”, done by Jagan’s Rajya Sabha MP Vijaya Sai Reddy to PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday, minutes after the House was adjourned, indicated that Reddy was trying to cement ties with the BJP. Vijaya Sai Reddy, however, refuted the charges and said that his was a courtesy gesture to the PM.
Congress as the major Opposition party in the Lok Sabha wants to utilise this opportunity to its own but it might come under sharp attack from both the TDP and the YSR Congress that are of the view that the previous UPA-2 government was responsible for the present plight of Andhra Pradesh.
There are other parties in Andhra too that think that the no-confidence motion might not achieve any real purpose in protecting the interest of the state. Former bureaucrat and Lok Satta leader Jayaprakash Narayan on Friday set up a panel of experts to submit a memorandum to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Andhra’s demands. “No-trust motions will not serve any purpose,” he told the media in Hyderabad on Friday.