No-confidence motion Live in Lok Sabha: The much-anticipated political showdown between Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed NDA government and an apparent united opposition led by Congress began with the debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha of Parliament today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the House after 8pm and the voting is scheduled to begin thereafter, according to tv reports. NDA ally Shiv Sena has decided to abstain from the Lok Sabha while Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) has decided to support the government inside the Lok Sabha. BJD (Biju Janata Dal) of Naveen Patnaik has also staged a walkout from the Lower House. The debate over no-confidence motion was initiated by TDP MP Jayadev Galla. Congress’s leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has accused Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan of being unfair in allotting time to the opposition parties in the debate. Speaking in Lok Sabha, Kharge said that the discussion over no-confidence motion cannot be treated as Question Hour. Later, speaking during the No-Confidence Motion, Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked the government on several fronts including GST, demonetisation, unemployment and Rafale deal.
Numbers are heavily stacked in favour of BJP even as Rahul Gandhi-led Congress claimed that today’s ‘no-confidence motion’ was more than a show of numbers and the party would use this to “expose” the government’s “failure”. The total number of seats in the Lower House is 534. For the majority, one needs to have 268. BJP currently has 274, including that of the Speaker and would easily be able to see off the challenge. Shiv Sena has 18 MPs. With the help of other constituents of NDA (National Democratic Alliance), the number may touch 315. UPA, on the other hand, has a total of 63 MPs, including Congress’ 48. Other parties like AIADMK, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, BJD, TDP, TRS, CPM, SP, AAP, YSRCP, AIUDF and others have a total of 156 seats.