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Stormy LS drowns no-confidence bid, yet again

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 20, 2018 Published on March 20, 2018

AIADMK MPs protesting in front of Parliament on Tuesday, seeking the early establishment of the Cauvery Management Board   -  Sandeep Saxena

TRS, AIADMK disrupt proceedings

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan once again cited the disorder in the Lok Sabha for not taking up the notices of no-confidence against the Narendra Modi government, while the Opposition accused the incumbent of “orchestrating the din”.

Members of Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK, which has 37 seats in the House, and Telangana’s incumbent TRS, which numbers 17, have held up proceedings in the Lower House since March 16.

The MPs had already gathered in the Well of the House when it convened on Tuesday. They carried placards — the AIADMK members demanded constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board, and the TRS representatives MPs called for linking MNREGA with farm labour.

Members of other Opposition parties backing the no-trust motions moved by the YSR Congress and the TDP, including the Congress, the TMC and the CPI(M) stood in their respective seats and demanded that the no-trust motion be admitted.

Following the din, the Speaker adjourned the Lok Sabha till 12 pm. A similar routine followed when the House reassembled.

After the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj read out her statement informing the House of the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq, the Speaker brought up the issue of the notices for no-confidence. She said the motions could not be moved because there was no order in the House.

“I have received notices of motion of no-confidence from YV Subba Reddy (YSR Congress) and Thota Narasimhan (TDP). I am duty-bound to bring the notices before the House. Unless there is order in the House, I will not be in a position to count the 50 members who have to stand in their assigned places so that I can ascertain as to whether the leave has been granted or not… Since the House is not in order, I will not be able to bring the notices before the House,” said Mahajan, before adjourning the House till Wednesday.

The Opposition was enraged with the CPI(M)’s Mohammed Salim of the CPI(M) described as “the burning pyre of Parliamentary democracy”. “When the Finance Bill could be passed in the din, why has the motion for no-confidence, the most important motion of all, not even being moved? It is very clear that the din is being orchestrated by the government to curtail the voice of the Opposition. The last rites of democracy are being performed,” he said.

According to Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress, the Speaker is duty-bound to accept the no-confidence motion, regardless of the state of decorum in the House. He said the government was “using” some parties to prevent the no-trust motions from being taken up because any discussion on the motion would “expose the fissures in the NDA”.

“One, the BJP’s allies has deserted them and filed a no-trust motion. The Shiv Sena is threatening to abstain. Even among the BJP’s ranks, there are dissenters whose can embarrass the government. Besides, why face a discussion on bank frauds, joblessness and rural distress? So, create disorder and adjourn the House,” said O’ Brien.

Published on March 20, 2018
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