Lok Sabha to take up no-trust motion debate on Aug 8; PM's reply likely on Aug 10
The Lok Sabha will debate the no-confidence between August 8 and 10, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to reply to the Opposition-sponsored move on the last day.
The decision was taken at the Lok Sabha’s business advisory committee meeting which was boycotted by the Opposition bloc INDIA and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), as they demanded that the House should immediately take up the motion and protested the government pushing through its legislative agenda.
INDIA alliance resents delay
Members of the INDIA bloc parties on Tuesday staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha’s Business Advisory Committee, convened by Speaker Om Birla, to protest against the decision to take up the debate on the no-confidence motion on August 8.
Manickam Tagore, the Congress whip in the Lok Sabha, said, “In the Business Advisory Committee meeting, INDIA alliance parties demanded that the no-confidence motion be brought up earlier. We wanted that the no-trust motion be taken up tomorrow (Wednesday) itself,” he said. Citing a precedence, he said when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) moved a no-confidence motion in the 16th Lok Sabha, it was listed the following day. “To protest against the delay, INDIA alliance partners walked out of the Speaker’s Business Advisory Committee meeting,” the Congress leader said.
DMK leader TR Balu said they walked out of the meeting as the government wanted them to endorse its decision to start discussions on the no-confidence motion on August 8. The Opposition leaders have been citing Lok Sabha precedence and rules that a no-confidence motion be taken up first after setting aside all other government business.
The government has insisted that there are no rules or precedence which make it mandatory for the House to take up the no-confidence motion immediately. It has argued that rules state the motion should be taken up for discussion within 10 working days of being admitted.
The Opposition led by the Congress has been demanding that PM Modi addresses Parliament on ethnic clashes in Manipur which broke out in May between the majority Meitei group and the tribal Kuki minority. The unabated violence in the northeastern state has been a key reason behind the prevailing deadlock in the both the Houses of Parliament since the Monsoon Session began on July 20.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdish Dhankhar has allowed a discussion for short duration under Rule 176, but the Opposition has been demanding a debate under Rule 267 preceded by a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government had said that Home Minister Amit Shah will reply to the debate on the Manipur situation.
Battle of perception
Meanwhile, the Opposition said they are very much aware that they might fail the number test and the purpose of this motion is to pressure the prime minister to speak on the issue. The Opposition argues that they will win the battle of perception by cornering the government on the Manipur issue during the debate.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had on July 26 accepted the no-confidence motion moved by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi against the Modi government, after a head count of over 50 MPs was attained, as required under the rules. This is the second time that the Modi government is facing a no-confidence motion since it came to power in 2014. The first no-trust motion against the Modi government in Lok Sabha was moved on July 20, 2018.
(With agency inputs)