New Delhi | Lok Sabha will debate the no-confidence motion from August 8 to 10 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reply to the opposition-sponsored move on the last day with the numbers clearly in favour of the ruling NDA.
The decision on the debate was taken at the Lok Sabha's business advisory committee meeting convened by Speaker Om Birla, as constituents of the INDIA alliance walked out in protest against it not being taken up on priority.
"The debate on the no-confidence motion will begin on August 8 and continue till August 10 when the prime minister will reply to the debate," a senior leader said.
Meanwhile, at a function in Pune where he was conferred the Lokmanya Tilak National Award, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "trust surplus" is seen today both in policies and hard work of the people in the country.
Development is impossible if there is an atmosphere of mistrust, Modi said in his acceptance speech at the event, where he shared stage with NCP leader Sharad Pawar.
The opposition bloc INDIA with the Congress, DMK, Left parties and the TMC, as well as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, demanded that the House take up the motion immediately and protested the government pushing through its legislative agenda this week.
The fate of the no-confidence motion moved by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on behalf of the united opposition, is clear as the NDA has the support of a majority members in Lok Sabha. With 301 MP of its own, the NDA has a total of 325 MPs in Lok Sabha.
Besides, the BJD with 12 MPs has also announced that it will oppose the no- confidence motion. The BJD has issued a three-line whip to its MPs in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
The opposition alliance, on the other hand, has a total strength of around 140 MPs in Lok Sabha.
In Pune, Modi spoke of India's journey from "trust deficit" to "trust surplus". He cited a survey conducted at an international level and said India is the country where people trust their government the most.
In Lok Sabha, the government has insisted that there is no rule or precedence which make it mandatory for the House to take up the no-confidence motion immediately. It has argued that rules state the motion should be taken up for discussion within 10 working days of being admitted.
Congress whip in the Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore said the House was adjourned after the opposition parties of the INDIA alliance demanded the presence of Modi and that he makes a statement on the Manipur issue.
He said the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha was held at noon, during which the constituents of the INDIA alliance demanded that the no-confidence motion be brought up immediately.
"We wanted that the no-confidence motion be taken up tomorrow itself," Tagore said.
The Congress leader said that in the 16th Lok Sabha when the TDP moved a no-confidence motion, it was listed the next day. "Therefore, the delay is not proper. In protest, the INDIA alliance partners walked out of the speaker's business advisory committee of the Lok Sabha," he said.
DMK leader T R Balu said they walked out of the business advisory committee meeting as the government wanted them to endorse its decision to start a discussion on the no-confidence motion on August 8.
The opposition leaders have been citing Lok Sabha precedence and rules
that the no-confidence motion be taken up first after setting aside all other government business. The motion was admitted by Speaker Birla on July 26.
The opposition used the no-trust motion route to make Modi speak inside Parliament on Manipur, as their pleas for holding a comprehensive debate on the situation in the violence-hit northeastern state has not yielded results.
The opposition parties have been demanding a statement from the prime minister on Manipur inside Parliament followed by an elaborate discussion in both houses.
Mumbai | NCP chief Sharad Pawar was on Tuesday accused by AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi of hypocrisy for sharing the stage with PM Narendra Modi in Pune.
The Pawar-led party rubbished Owaisi's remarks, and questioned his “lack of political awareness”.
“While in Lok Sabha, NCP & other opposition parties have been protesting over Manipur; Sharad Pawar is happily sharing the dais with @narendramodi in Pune. What's this hypocrisy? At the same time, BJP is happily getting Bills passed without discussion,” Owaisi tweeted.
“@asadowaisi needs to keep his eyes and ears open before making statements showing his lack of political awareness. Sharad Pawar Saheb attended the function as a mark of respect to Lokmanya Tilak. Does Owaisi know the importance of Tilak ji & has he ever paid any respect to him?” tweeted NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto.
“My respect for Sharad Pawar Saheb has risen manyfolds today because he kept his promise to organizers of 'Lokmanya Tilak National Award' and as a mark of respect to Lokmanya Tilak, attended the function despite having to share stage with people responsible for breaking our party,” Crasto tweeted.
Mumbai | The Shiv Sena (UBT) on Tuesday said NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who shared stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Tilak National Award ceremony in Pune, could have stayed away from the event "to clear doubts about him." The editorial in the Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece 'Saamana' claimed that Modi accused the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of corruption and then engineered a split in the party and muddied the politics in Maharashtra.
“Still, Sharad Pawar will welcome Modi and this has not gone down well with some people. This was a good opportunity for Pawar to turn his back on the programme and clear the doubts about him among people,” the Marathi daily said.
Later in the day, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan said such incidents lead to confusion and Pawar should make his position clear.
“I don't think participating in such events is wrong. (But) All important opposition parties have come under the banner of INDIA alliance. Such incidents create an atmosphere of confusion," the Congress leader said.
"If a senior leader like Pawar makes his position clear then it will be much better,” Chavan said.
PM Modi was on a visit to Pune on Tuesday to launch various development projects and also receive the Lokmanya Tilak National Award, instituted by the Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust in 1983 to honour the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak.
Notably, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar last month led a split in the NCP and joined the Shinde government along with eight other party MLAs.
The Saamana editorial said if Sharad Pawar would have stayed away from the event to protest against the engineering of the split in the NCP, his leadership and courage would have been appreciated.
The country is fighting against dictatorship and the INDIA alliance comprising 26 opposition parties has been formed for the purpose, it said.
Sharad Pawar is the "leading general" of the alliance, it claimed.
There are different expectations of people from a senior leader like Sharad Pawar, the Marathi publication said.
"PM Modi is not ready to speak on the violence in Manipur. It is not in national interest for the country's leader to not speak on the issue," the editorial said.
There are protests against the prime minister in Pune and NCP activists were taking part in it, it noted.
It was a weird situation because the party's leaders were with Modi on the stage and party workers were protesting against him with black flags, the Saamana editorial added.