Oppn seeks to win battle of perception through proposed no-confidence motion

New Delhi: The proposed no-confidence motion by opposition parties is bound to fail the numbers test but opposition parties argue that they will win the battle of perception by cornering the government on the Manipur issue during the debate.

They contend that it is also a strategy to make the prime minister speak in Parliament on the Manipur issue, as the government has been insisting that only the Union home minister will reply to a debate on the Manipur situation.

The fate of the no-confidence motion is pre-determined as the numbers are clearly stacked in favour of the BJP and the opposition grouping has less than 150 members in the Lower House.

Sources said the opposition is likely to give a notice of “no confidence” against the Modi government by Wednesday after a final decision is taken by the opposition grouping.

It is, however, up to the Speaker when to take up that notice in the House.

Opposition leaders said the INDIA alliance will use the no-confidence motion as a tool to make the government accountable on the floor of Parliament and bring the focus on Manipur, which the government has so far sought to avoid in Parliament.

The alliance partners are meeting at 10 am on Wednesday to finalise their plans on moving the motion and the Congress MPs have been asked to come to the office of the Congress Parliamentary Party after the opposition meeting.

The Congress party has also moved a three-line whip to all its MPs in Lok Sabha to be present in the House.

The Congress has remained silent on the issue of a no-confidence motion but agrees on moving it, with a leader contending that it is the only way it can get the focus on the Manipur issue and make the prime minister speak up in Parliament.

“In the game of perception, it is a good idea to target the government on the Manipur issue (through the no-confidence motion),” the leader said.

However, the sources said the opposition may not get that much time during the debate in Lok Sabha, as time is allocated according to the strength of parties in the House.

The sources add that the attention of the entire country will focus on the “no confidence motion” on Manipur and this is likely to help the opposition in the perception game.

They said after a notice of no confidence is moved, it has to be listed in the business of the day and as many as 50 MPs in Lok Sabha have to support it for it to be taken up for discussion in the House.

Asked whether the opposition will move a ‘no confidence motion’ against the government on the Manipur issue, Congress senior spokesperson Manish Tewari said at a party briefing that in the Parliamentary system and tradition, all options are open.

The options as per the rules are all available before the opposition, he said.

“In a Parliamentary democracy, all instrumentalities which are available in the rules and procedures of the Lok Sabha remain open to the opposition,” he told reporters.

“As we have pointed out in the last three or four days, the reasons why we are insistent that the prime minister must address both houses of Parliament on the question of Manipur is because of the sensitivity (of the situation in the border state) and the depravity that Manipur has unfortunately witnessed in the past 78 to 80 days.

“Therefore under those circumstances, we are steadfast in our demand and as I pointed out that in a democracy all instrumentalities which are available under the parliamentary rules always remain open,” Tewari said.