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Speakers discuss threadbare failures of current government, follies of opposition, and whether the vote makes for good strategy

For the first time, the Narendra Modi government will face a no-confidence motion against it in the Monsoon Session of the parliament tomorrow. While several Opposition members had given notices earlier, these failed as they were unable to garner enough support. The Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, accepted the notice from Telugu Desam Party’s Vijaywada MP Kesineni Srinivas as his was the first. The TDP has been staging protests demanding a special package for Andhra Pradesh.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister HN Ananth Kumar said: “The entire NDA is united and we will face the no-confidence motion. In fact, we are hopeful of getting support from several non-NDA parties as well. It will be NDA plus.”

Thursday’s edition of Mudda, APN’s daily current affairs show, discussed the issue. Moderated by Anant Tyagi, the guests were BJP leader Sunil Bharala, Congress spokesperson Onkar Nath, political expert Ajay Upadhyay, Shiv Sena spokesperson Chintu Sheikh and APN consulting editor Govind Pant Raju.

Nath said: “We are trying to show the truth about the present government. We want to show how the current government has failed to keep their promises. We have tried to bring in the no-confidence motion twice before but it was struck down.”

Upadhyay said the most interesting thing to be seen in this parliament session is how the opposition comes together on one platform. He said: “The topics that would be put forward through no-confidence motion are—unemployment, inflation, casteism, mob killings, farmers’ suicide, GST, and demonetisation. The current opposition will discuss these issues. The opposition wants to enter into a grand alliance and challenge the BJP.”

Bharala talked about how the Modi government has brought in development. He explained: “The poor, who never thought in their wildest dreams that they will have bank accounts, each have a bank account now. We did it. We also fulfilled our role as the whole country is making fun of the current opposition; because of their accusations. Nitish Kumar is with us.”

Chintu Sheikh said the Shiv Sena had already told the BJP that they will not support them in the 2019 elections. He added: “Let me tell you the truth behind the story of the bank accounts. The BJP had said that these accounts will be zero balance accounts but the people are getting calls that they have to maintain a minimum balance of Rs 3,000. From where will the poor get Rs 3,000? Mumbai does not need a bullet train. Still they are making it.” He even alleged that their progress report is a lie.

Raju said: “It is a test for both of them. The member count is now at 533. Outside the parliament, political parties can say anything they want. They can blame each other for anything and can exaggerate their claims. But within the parliament they have to take everything seriously. They must have proof for all the allegations. First, the TDP will get a chance to vote, then the Opposition and then BJP.”

—Compiled by Usha Rani Das

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