The ill-conceived no-confidence motion had exposed chink in opposition’s armour, and on the other hand, NDA ended up gaining more clout after the no-confidence motion. The no-confidence motion showed the fragility of the opposition. Telugu Desam Party and Congress joined hands to bring about this motion which was bound to fail from the very start. Even the senior leader of Congress, Kamal Nath had abstained from attending the no-confidence motion despite the whip being issued. The so-called united opposition does not even remotely looked united. Strong regional parties such as Biju Janata Dal (BJD) staged a walkout from the house and TRS also abstained from voting on the no-confidence motion. It can be also considered as their tacit support to the NDA. Their walkout also showed that given a choice, BJD and TRS would prefer BJP in the future rather than joining the ‘united opposition’ or the much-hyped ‘Third Front’. By abstaining from voting they have made the task easier for the BJP which is anyway in a strong position. But, BJD’s and TRS’s walkout not only demoralised the opposition in the no-confidence motion but also sent a clear signal to the Congress regarding 2019 Elections. Though, NDA ally Shiv Sena abstained from voting but still NDA very easily managed to win by a huge margin, NDA got 325 votes out of 451 votes. On the other hand, the so-called united opposition managed to get only 126 votes. United opposition failed to bring anti-BJP, non-NDA parties and disgruntled NDA allies in its folds.
In the recently concluded election of Deputy Chairman for the Rajya Sabha, cracks in the united opposition camp came to spotlight once again. On the other hand the election demonstrated how united the NDA really is. National Democratic Alliance candidate and Janata Dal (United) MP Harivansh Narayan Singh has won the election for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman post. He defeated the Congress backed opposition candidate BK Hariprasad by 125 against 105 votes. This is a huge win for the BJP backed candidate which has taken place just prior to the end of the monsoon session. It was an uphill task for NDA parties to garner the necessary support for its candidate considering it was not in majority in the Upper House. BJP had 73 MPs, which when combined with the rest of the MPs from the NDA made the tally go up to 85, this was way short of the 123 figure needed to win the post. The winning mark was brought down by AAP and PDP abstaining from voting in the elections, the final mark was therefore restricted to 119 with DMK MP Kanimozhi not attending the election owing to her father’s death. A total of 8 MPs were absent from the house which brought down the strength of the house to 236, making 119 the majority mark.
Propping up a non-BJP candidate for the post helped BJP get the support of the non-aligned parties like Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with 9 MPs and Telangana Rashtra Samithi with 6 MPs readily agreeing to support JD(U)’s Harivansh Narayan Singh. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with their 13 MPs also came in support of the NDA. The NDA therefore quite easily reached the 119 mark with the help of coalition, non-aligned and independent candidates. This is just a glimpse of how 2019 is going to play out.
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