How opposition parties made a mess of themselves – A look back at No-confidence motion

People are fed up of becoming victims of every Tom Dick and Harry's political ambitions. What the result essentially says is, all opposition party members are not interested in halla gulla and wasting taxpayers' money in carrying out such worthless exercises. It is only a few over-ambitious political leaders who are trying their best to either surge or survive.

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This is what happens when people turn over-ambitious. When a wild thought of no-confidence motion against the stable NDA government started doing rounds, almost all political pandits saw it as childish and waste of parliament’s precious hours. What the TDP president Chandrabahu Naidu’s engineering brain thought while coming out with such an idea still remains a mystery but looks like he wanted to impress upon other political parties that he was able to do something unique and deserved to be the leader of an anti-Modi crusade. Desperate to do anything to harm image of the ruling party, Congress and a few other political parties readily backed it.

During last winter, in one of the most shameful parliamentary sessions, the world saw  India’s opposition parties shouting their lungs out to disrupt almost every session in order to block the government from passing some crucial bills. When the TDP-YSRCP demand for no-confidence motion against the NDA government was rejected by the Loksabha speaker, it was termed as Center’s political suicide. TDP politburo member and Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu had reportedly said that running away from facing a no-confidence motion was like committing political suicide and that not taking up such a motion for discussion was against parliamentary traditions.

But the opposition parties forgot that the BJP has some super sharp political brains which are capable of turning every hostile attempt against the government into an opportunity to promote the party. Unfortunately, Chandrabahu Naidu, for whom I held some respect before he took a U-turn under the pretext of Andhra Pradesh’s special status, was bent on having the no-confidence motion and after the Karnataka election he seemed even more confident of dong something new out of growing opposition unity. On the other hand, the Congress saw in it an opportunity to promote Rahul Gandhi. And others, who did not have much to lose joined the club.

The outcome spoke for itself.

The BJP happily accepted the challenge and exposed the so-called unity of opposition parties. During the motion, Rahul Gandhi showed that he is a good learner. He relentlessly attacked the ruling party and made some innovative accusations. One such accusation was about the Rafale deal which forced both India and France to make specific statements refuting his claims. The other new thing he did was he crossed the floor and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This gesture earned him a big number of trolls on social media. As if this wasn’t enough, he ended up winking at some party members after returning to his seat.

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Why did he wink? Perhaps he was nervous after showing the courage of giving a surprising and unsolicited hug to PM Modi and wanted to ease it out, but in doing so he forgot that he was watched by TV cameras. Personally I do not condemn his hugging gesture but the intention behind it became clear when he winked. It dealt a hard blow to his political image and attracted sharp criticism.

When the time came for Mr Modi to speak and reply to questions, he squeezed every available minute and tore into Congress and other opposition parties’ claims and allegations, and destroyed their every argument. Millions of viewers saw a master orator at his best as he artfully exposed Congress fallacies and turned every allegation against him and his party into an opportunity to promote his government’s success.

After a stormy 12-hour debate that saw some of the most stinging attacks and counter attacks from both sides, the no-confidence motion was easily defeated by a strong margin of 199 votes. Out of total 451 members who voted, 325 voted against the motion and only 126 supported the motion.  The most humiliating part for the opposition was the NDA won more votes than its current strength in the house despite Shiv sena, an NDA ally, abstaining from the trust vote.

What the result essentially says is, all opposition party members are not interested in halla gulla and wasting taxpayers’ money in carrying out such worthless exercises. It is only a few over-ambitious political leaders who are trying their best to either surge or survive.

Unity founded on selfish motives cannot stand the heat of unfolding adverse circumstances. Every politically alert person in India knows the so-called maha-gatha-bandhan is based entirely on selfish motives and will not last long. This is true even if they manage to come to power after 2019 elections in an unlikely scenario. What we are seeing in Karnataka now is likely to happen even before the general elections on national level.

People are fed up of becoming victims of every Tom Dick and Harry’s political ambitions. History tells us how one person’s ill-placed ambition destroyed the otherwise formidable Kauravas. Even in recent times we have seen over-ambitious people bringing disasters to the world. The no-confidence motion fiasco is just a small reminder. Learning lesson from the past would be a wise thing to do, not only for the opposition but also for the ruling party.