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Published On: Thu, Jul 19th, 2018

AIADMK, BJD May Abstain In No-Trust Vote, Sena will support BJP

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Parliament-19NEW DELHI :  The Lok Sabha would take up for discussion and vote on a no-confidence motion brought by TDP, and supported by other Opposition parties, against the Narendra Modi government on Friday — the first such test for the Centre in the last 15 years.

Both sides claimed they had the numbers and issued voting whips to their MPs, after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan admitted a notice from the estranged NDA ally. However, the government is likely to clear the test easily. BJP alone has the support of 273 MPs. Forty-one MPs of other NDA constituents take the number to 314 — well above the current halfway mark of 268.
Hectic rounds of meetings are being held on both sides of the political divide ahead of tomorrow’s no-confidence motion against the government. Given the NDA’s sheer strength in numbers in parliament’s lower house, there is little doubt about the outcome of the voting. Still both sides are trying to garner every possible vote.

The big question will be the decision of the fence sitters — sources in Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK and Naveen Patkaik’s BJD have indicated that both parties will abstain. The AIADMK, sources said, will take part in the discussion and highlight the government’s shortcomings.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena, the most cantankerous member of the BJP-led NDA coalition, will vote against the opposition’s no confidence motion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will face on Friday, union minister Ananth Kumar has claimed.

“The NDA is united and will vote against the motion.” the union minister said on Wednesday, responding to repeated questions about the Shiv Sena’s stand in Friday crucial vote. The central government is comfortably placed in the Lok Sabha and there is no risk to its survival.
The opposition has been hoping that allies such as the Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, which has 18 members in the lower house, embarrasses the government on Friday.The Shiv Sena, known for acting as the proxy opposition.
Over the last year and more, the Shiv Sena frequently hurled stinging darts and insults at the BJP who it has described as the Sena’s  “biggest political enemy”,, called the BJP arrogant and the NDA that it leads “almost dead” and showered praises on Congress boss Rahul Gandhi.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena have been allies since the early 1990s. But their relations have been at a prolonged breakpoints ever since the BJP emerged as Maharashtra’s number one party in the 2014 national election. It reversed their longstanding position of the Sena as senior partner, which the party has found difficult to live down.

The two parties had also contested last year’s civic elections in Mumbai separately but ended up joining hands after neither received a majority. The BJP had, as a peace offering, let the Shiv Sena take the Mayor’s post.
In January this year, Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray also announced that his party would contest the 2019 general election on its own and not as part of the NDA.But there have been hints that the Shiv Sena has no intention of fast forwarding the party’s exit from the NDA.
Besides, it will be a little complicated for the Shiv Sena to vote against the NDA government which has its nominee Anant Geete.
When Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party had first given notice for a no-trust vote in March this year, the Shiv Sena had insisted that the motion ended “the myth that this government is unshakable for the next 25 years”. It had then announced that it would abstain from voting in the trust vote.

“Every party has its own issues but there are some common issues…. Such as price rise, joblessness and developments in Kashmir. If these issues come up, we will be with them and don’t need to raise them separately,” Mr Raut said, remarks that are seen as an indication that it might criticise the government during the debate on these issues, but not vote against the NDA.(With Agency Inputs ).

 

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