Congress moves no-confidence motion against Modi govt in the Lok Sabha

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The Congress party on Friday moved a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government in the Lok Sabha, even as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued to insist she couldn’t consider other no-confidence motions moved by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) amid din.

Opposition parties apart, many ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs and its allies also demanded the Modi government file a review petition in the Supreme Court on the apex court’s recent order on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

BJP Lok Sabha MP Udit Raj said he would raise the issue with BJP leaders, including the PM and party chief Amit Shah, at their parliamentary party meeting on Friday. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi led a party demonstration on the issue inside Parliament’s premises.

"The government must file a review plea against the order. If it does not, it will definitely impact us (BJP) adversely. When the government takes credit for positive developments, it will also get discredited for something that goes wrong," Raj said.

Several Dalit MPs of the BJP want the government to file a review petition against the order. Dalit ministers such as Ram Vilas Paswan, also chief of the Lok Janshakti Party, an ally of the BJP, have spoken in favour of filing a review petition.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said the government will examine the order and then come out with a structured response. 

Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, will move the no-confidence motion when the House reconvenes on Tuesday. The motion has been listed for Tuesday and the Congress has issued an order to all its MPs to be present in the House on that day.

In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the members needed to introspect, since persisting with disruptions for three long weeks had no justification. The House couldn’t transact any business and he was pained by it. “Will the next week be any different?” he asked, adding he wouldn’t like to hazard a guess. He said people were asking why the House was not being adjourned sine die, but said this was not in his hands.

The scheduled end of the Budget session is on April 6. The Congress accused the government of failing to make an honest attempt to reach out to the Opposition. Naidu hoped the government and Opposition would ensure the House runs next week.

In the Lok Sabha, the Speaker refused to take up the no-confidence motions of YSRCP and TDP because of disruptions. She also announced a holiday for members on Monday on account of Ramnavami on Sunday. The Rajya Sabha will have a holiday on Monday.

On the no-confidence motions, the Speaker said the requisite count of members supporting the notices could be done only if they were in their seats. At least 50 members need to support a no-confidence notice for the House to accept it and start a debate.

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