NEW DELHI : Confident to face no-confidence
Parliament functioned without interruption on the first day of the Monsoon Session. Altercation between Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and the opposition on who was to blame for the vandalism at Shashi Tharoor’s Thiruvananthapuram office seemed rather minor. But surprise was around Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s readiness to admit a no-confidence motion notice by the Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge. She has refused last session. Asked why, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad quipped: “The well is free (of slogan shouting!).” Indeed, the TDP and the AIADMK MPs, in protest last session, were in their seats on Wednesday. “Besides, the Congress has given up its ambivalence (on the no-confidence motion).” The opposition gameplan does not seem to be defeating the Modi Government but to allow a space to corner it. BJP, however, did not seem bothered either way. “PM will have the last word (as in a reply to the motion), also the headline next day,” the minister added.
What could be PM’s reply?
Ministers were quizzed on what could be expected from the PM’s reply to the no-trust vote debate. The conjecture is, Modi may reveal his Kashmir plan. Not just what led to imposition of Governor’s rule, but also some surprise announcement relating to the state. The BJP is also expecting some Central largesse to poll-bound MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Will Modi-Shah opt for early elections in December, clubbing at least 12 state polls? Many MPs believe it’s a distinct possibility, despite the Republic Day invitation extended to the US President. Union Minister Virendra Singh felt, BJP would rather take advantage of ‘no alternative to Modi’ factor.
RS Deputy Chair
The treasury showed no inclination of holding an election or appointing a deputy chair till the point BJP/NDA has a majority in the Rajya Sabha. P J Kurien’s successor may not be chosen in a hurry.