The BJP-led NDA emerged stronger from Parliament’s monsoon session as it first defeated the Opposition’s no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, and then ensured victory of its candidate for Rajya Sabha’s Deputy Chairmanship with good floor management and convincing margins.
The no-confidence motion in the first week and the Rajya Sabha election in the fourth week, no doubt gave proof how seriously the NDA took the Parliamentary battles, crucial to its image in the last year of its rule.
The 330-135 victory that the NDA secured against theTelugu Desam Party-sponsored no-confidence motion was not surprising, as the government enjoyed majority in the House.
What established that the BJP was doing its homework before entering any battlefield, was its triumph in the Rajya Sabha where it lacked the majority.
A look at the voting pattern in the two Houses shows how the BJP turned the tables and defeated the Congress-led Opposition, which had used its majority several times to embarrass the Government and stall its business.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which walked out of the Lok Sabha before the no-confidence debate, alleging neglect of the state by the Centre, voted for the NDA candidate in the Rajya Sabha.
The nine-member BJD did the favour because Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (U) president Nitish Kumar spoke to Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik, seeking support for the NDA candidate, Harivansh, who happened to belong to the JD (U). Shiv Sena had stayed out of the Lok Sabha motion debate but it voted for the JD (U) candidate in the Rajya Sabha.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with a crucial three members, was known to be part of the Opposition camp, but it stayed out of voting in the Upper House election, depriving the Opposition of much needed vote-strength.
AIADMK’s 13 and Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s six members voted for the government, while several members belonging to the Congress and Samajwadi Party were not present for different reasons, which helped the NDA have an easy 125 to 101 victory in the 244-member House.
The Opposition candidate who lost the election was B K Hariprasad of the Congress Party.
The Deputy Chairman got assurances of cooperation to run the House smoothly from all leaders. M Venkaiah Naidu, completing his first year as Chairman of the House, said while he was emotional at times,
Harivansh was calm, cool and smiling all the time.
In reply, the Deputy Chairman thanked all, particularly Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who turned up especially for the election after a recent surgery.
The last week of Parliament started with unusual scenes in the Lok Sabha on Monday when a Congress member Ranjeet Ranjan took papers and books from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s table and threw them, angry at not getting a response from Home Minister Rajnath Singh over reports that evidence in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case was getting destroyed.
The Speaker adjourned the House immediately. Telugu Desam Party’s Venkateshwara Rao Magantti later tore and flung in the air, papers he was carrying.
He lost his calm as he believed the Centre was withdrawing funds meant for the development of backward regions of Andhra Pradesh. On Thursday, the Congress demanded in both Houses a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the Rafale planes’ purchase deal.
The Opposition did not let the Rajya Sabha take up the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, known as Triple Talaq Bill, listed on Friday because there was no consensus.
The Opposition showed it still had enough ammunition to attack the government.
The two Houses of Parliament were adjourned on Wednesday after making brief obituary references to DMK leader M Karunanidhi who died on Tuesday evening. DMK leader in the Rajya Sabha Tiruchi Siva on Friday demanded Bharat Ratna for the party patriarch.
The government was happy the Lok Sabha had 118 per cent productivity and the Rajya Sabha 68 per cent during the session, and the two Houses passed 20 Bills.
Among the Bills which have become law are the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment), Bill, the National Sports University Bill, the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill and the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018.