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Face saver for Modi government: Motion of thanks to Presidential address passed in Rajya Sabha by voice vote

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Updated: February 13, 2019 8:04:14 PM

NDA floor managers secure a big face saver for the government in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacked the numbers to ensure the passage of motion of thanks without amendments.

 

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu in the house.

In a big relief to Modi government, the Rajya Sabha Wednesday passed the motion of thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address on its last working day without any debate. It’s a big face saver for NDA floor managers in the Rajya Sabha as the house has twice amended the motion of thanks to Presidential address during Prime Minister Modi’s tenure, causing big embarrassment to the government.

The Rajya Sabha was barely able to work during this session as controversy over Rafale fighter Jet Deal and Citizenship Bill have stalled the proceedings of the house for most part of the budget session that began on January 31.

Several opposition members have moved amendments to the motion of thanks to the Presidential Address, however, NDA floor managers were able to forge a consensus on the last day of the session that the motion of thanks will passed by a voice vote without a debate.

KK Ragesh, CPM Member in the Rajya Sabha from Kerala had earlier told Financial Express Online that he had already moved 10 amendments to the motion of thanks expressing regrets over several unfulfilled promises related to providing employment and social security to the people.

In a big relief to the government, several opposition members agreed to withdraw the amendments moved by them to allow the passage of motion of thanks with a voice vote on the last session of the day.

Prior to Modi government, the Rajya Sabha had only thrice amended the motion of thanks to the Presidential address in its entire history, once each during the tenure of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and VP Singh.

What is Presidential Address

Under article 87 of the Constitution, President is required to address a special joint session of both the houses at the start of the first session of Parliament each year. He is also required to address the first session of Parliament after every Lok Sabha elections. 

Budget session, usually being the first Parliamentary session of the year, starts with the Presidential Address to a joint sitting of both houses in the iconic central hall of Parliament. In this year’s address, President Ram Nath Kovind listed out the achievements of Modi government during the last five years.

Usually, incumbent governments use the opportunity of Presidential Address to list out their achievements.

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