The Lok Sabha will take up the no confidence motion for debate and voting on Friday. Top leaders of the BJP and the Opposition, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, will take part in the debate that will conclude with a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The no confidence motion will be the first to be faced by the Narendra Modi government, which has less than a year left in office.
Hours before the proceedings are to begin, PM Modi called for a “constructive, comprehensive & disruption free debate”. In a tweet, he said: “Today is an important day in our Parliamentary democracy. I am sure my fellow MP colleagues will rise to the occasion and ensure a constructive, comprehensive & disruption free debate. We owe this to the people & the makers of our Constitution. India will be watching us closely.”
Today is an important day in our Parliamentary democracy. I am sure my fellow MP colleagues will rise to the occasion and ensure a constructive, comprehensive & disruption free debate. We owe this to the people & the makers of our Constitution. India will be watching us closely.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2018
Seven hours have been set aside for the debate that will begin at 11 am. According to information, there will be no lunch break. The voting is likely to take place in the evening.
Based on the strength of the parties in the House, as per reports, the BJP will get three hours and 33 minutes to debate, while the Congress will have 38 minutes to present its views on the no confidence motion.
Other opposition parties such as the AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) have been allocated 29 minutes, 27 minutes, 15 minutes and nine minutes, respectively.
Apart from Rahul Gandhi, and the party leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to speak in the debate.
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said and the Congress would have 38 minutes for “an earthquake in the House”.
13 mts for d mover of d motion n 38 minutes for ‘earthquake’ 😀😀 https://t.co/8708EtXQJZ
— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) July 19, 2018
On Thursday, both parties sharpened their attacks on each other.
Party leader Anand Sharma said the “government should come up with a white paper on economy and release fresh GDP growth numbers”.
The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), however, appeared confident of the numbers.
“We have talked to several parties. We will get fresh support from the south and the northeast. It will be NDA plus,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.
In the 545-member (including the Speaker) Lok Sabha, the NDA has 311 members, including 273 of the BJP, four of SAD, 18 of Shiv Sena, six of LJP, three of RLSP, two of JD-U, two of Apna Dal, and one each of All India N R Congress, SDF and NDPP.
Shiv Sena has issued a whip to its MPs to be present and vote in favour of the government, while AIADMK that has 37 MPs indicated that it might not support the no-confidence motion.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member Kesineni Srinavas, whose notice was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday, will initiate the debate on the motion.
Apart from TDP, the notice of no-confidence had also been given by members of the Congress, NCP, RSP and CPI-M. AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi.
BJP sources said Modi would speak for about one and a half hours.
The Congress may target the government on issues ranging from economy, problems of farmers and unemployment to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and petroleum prices, and will also attack the government over “lynchings, social disharmony and social tensions”.
Party leader Anand Sharma said on Thursday that the “government should come up with a white paper on economy and release fresh GDP growth numbers.”
(With agency inputs)