Modi government will face a tough test in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on Motion of Thanks to the Presidential Address as a combative opposition may pass amendments to the motion in an embarrassment for the NDA government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening mounted a sharp attack on the opposition parties while replying to the debate on motion of thanks to Presidential address in the Lok Sabha where the NDA government has a clear majority. However, he is expected to face a combative opposition in the Rajya Sabha that has already twice amended the Motion of Thanks during his tenure.
This budget session provides one last opportunity to the opposition to show its strength in the Rajya Sabha where the NDA doesn’t have numbers. Any amendment to Presidential Address is considered a big embarrassment to any government, although it does not pose any threat to its stability unlike the Lok Sabha.
KK Ragesh, CPM member in the Rajya Sabha from Kerala, told Financial Express Online that he has already move 10 amendments to the motion of thanks to the President.
“The issue of collectively moving the amendments could not be discussed with other parties in opposition as the house was not functioning. However, I have already moved my amendments to the motion of thanks to the presidential address and I am confident that if the issue is debated then opposition’s amendments will be passed,” KK Ragesh told Financial Express Online.
The CPM member has moved total 10 amendments to the motion of thanks covering wide ranging issues like Triple Talaq, Ujjwala scheme, high unemployment among other things.
In its entire history, the Rajya Sabha has only five times amended the Motion of Thanks to Presidential Address. Once each during the time of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, VP Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, in last three years alone, the Motion of Thanks to Presidential Address has been twice amended during Prime Minister Modi’s tenure.
What is Presidential Address
Under article 87 of the Constitution, President is required to address a special joint session of Parliament after conclusion of every general election and also at the start of the first session of Parliament each year. Although, it is called Presidential Address but in effect it is prepared by the incumbent government.
Budget session, 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.