The Modi government ever since its election in May 2014 has been a thorn in the secular foot. And why wouldn’t it be? It focuses on development, shuns minority appeasement, and the Prime Minister is unabashed in his Hindu, Dharmic identity. He feels no need to sacrifice his personal religious beliefs, to pander to a vote bank. He refuses to wear a ‘topi’ but fights to abolish Triple Talaq. By all measures, Modi doesn’t fit the political bubble all the other politicians are so comfortable in. Or used to be.
So now, after the Gorakhpur and Phulur bypolls have concluded in a loss for the BJP, the opposition is dreaming about getting rid of the “pesky little thorn”, Narendra Modi, once and for all.
After the Gorakhpur and Phulur bypolls, the BJP’s tally in the Lok Sabha is 274 according to the Lok Sabha website. Which is above the majority mark of 272. It must be clarified, that essentially, BJP has 275 MPs, but since Speaker of LS, Sumitra Mahajan doesn’t vote, the effective strength becomes 274. Out of these, 2 are nominated, but they have the voting rights in case of a no-confidence motion.
While BJP on its own is above the majority mark, Congress has still gone ahead and expressed their support to the no-confidence motion against the Modi government to be moved by TDP and YSR Congress Party.
Congress to support no-confidence motion against the Centre by Telugu Desam Party & YSR Congress Party: Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee President N Raghuveera Reddy pic.twitter.com/dx1AHiVD4o
— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2018
In fact, TDP MP Thota Narasimhan to Lok Sabha Secretary-General has given a letter for moving motion on ‘No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers’ in the House.
One wonders while BJP is still above the majority mark, how has the opposition moved a no-confidence motion.
Is the opposition depending on Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad to vote against the BJP government in the floor of the parliament? Shotgun has been dilly-dallying for the longest time, toeing the opposition line and criticising the Modi government endlessly and sometimes, needlessly. And Kirti Azad has made his issues with Arun Jaitley extremely public.
But assuming Kirti Azad and Shatrughan Sinha vote against the BJP in a no-confidence motion is moved, the BJP would still be at 272, which is dot on the majority mark.
Is it too far-fetched to wonder that while people thought Shatrughan Sinha’s constant whining and cosying up to the opposition was a betrayal to the party, his last act of political betrayal would be becoming instrumental in the opposition’s attempt to get rid of the Modi government months before 2019 general elections? And lastly, the most important question: Is there someone else who is ready to betray the BJP and essentially, the country’s mandate? Or is the Congress building castles in the air and needlessly posturing considering they have managed to bag 2 seats and they want the world to know – we can be back.
However, with the facts at hand, it does appear empty posturing by the Congress party and its allies. Akali Dal is clearly not going to vote against BJP. Let us assume BJP gets the third rebel apart from Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad. What they would essentially do then, is make all three rebels lose their Lok Sabha seat by getting them to violate the whip, this is assuming there is a third rebel and Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad are willing to lose their LS seat. That too might be far-fetched. If the two were willing to let go of their seat, one has to wonder why they didn’t resign earlier and stick around for so long despite being unhappy.
Congress seems to believe in the “hum to doobenge, tumhe bhi le doobenge sanam” strategy, the question thus remains, have they found three foolish politicians to go down with them?