The no-confidence motion, first mooted by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), seems to have found a taker in the principal Opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which said on Tuesday that it would be “exploring all options on the no-confidence motion”.
After a meeting with the allies of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Ravi Shankar Prasad, deputy leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha said, “The Union government has failed and the time has come for it to go because of the repeated allegations of corruption and for allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. The BJP will talk to all political parties and explore the possibility of a no confidence motion against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in the winter session of Parliament.”
Meanwhile, the UPA put a brave face. “We are confident of our numbers. We are not a government without numbers. We will prove it in the House as and when required,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters.
The TMC, meanwhile, said in Kolkata that it was ready to even support a no-confidence motion sponsored by its arch rival, the Left parties. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said, “If necessary, I am even prepared to go to CPI-M state party headquarters at Alimuddin Street here and talk to its secretary, Biman Bose, on the issue.” She added, “If they have reservations about our party sponsoring the motion, let the CPI-M bring it. We will support the motion, provided there is assurance that they will not withdraw it midway, striking a deal with Congress. If the issue is the same, there is no objection to support their motion.”
Yesterday, the Left parties had said they would “wait and watch” the developments on the no confidence motion issue. The Left was of the opinion that if not supported by numbers, the no-confidence motion would only end up strengthening the hands of the UPA, with all allies such as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) flocking together to save the government. The Left parties preferred to corner the government on a vote on FDI in retail under Rule 184.
The BJP-led NDA has also decided to give notices to debate the issue of FDI in retail and would ask for voting to put pressure on the UPA government. “The BJP will give notices for voting on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail, and appeal to all political parties that had supported the nationwide strike against the decision to come together,” said Prasad. BJP leaders believe that Congress doesn’t enjoy the support of its own allies on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail, and that the government could be cornered on the floor of the House.
M Venkaiah Naidu, former BJP president, said, “The Union government has violated the resolution and assurance given by Pranab Mukherjee on December 7 in Parliament. We want to know what happened to the assurance when Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, SP and BSP which support the UPA are also not ready to lend support on the issue.”
Taking a dig at Banerjee’s proximity to the BJP, All India Congress Committee’s Bengal incharge, Shakeel Ahmed, asked, “Why is a party with 115 MPs ready to support a motion being brought by a 19-member party? Whether Mamata has entered into a tacit understandng with BJP is something she should tell secular voters of West Bengal.”
With only a day to go before the winter session to kick off, the political climate is likely to get further charged as every political party is trying to put its opponent on the mat.