2019 polls,fence-sitting parties give play safe message

2019 polls,fence-sitting parties give play safe message

Fence sitters will remain so at least till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are over. PTI file photo

Fence sitters will remain fence sitters at least till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are over. Friday’s Vote of no-confidence exercise lays bare the broad contours of the political realignment that could emerge in 2019 general elections.

The motion was defeated with 325 members voting against it while 126 supporting the motion moved by TDP member Kesineni Srinivas.

While BJP chief Amit Shah was quick to hail the result in his party's favour saying the defeat faced by the Opposition in the no-confidence motion in Parliament is just a “glimpse” of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll results, Congress said the proceedings in Parliament show the "countdown of BJP has begun".

"The BJP has become a sinking ship and the captain of the ship is clueless how to save this ship," Congress spokesperson Jaiver Shergill said on Saturday.

A day before the trust vote happened, the government had claimed that NDA plus will vote against the No-Confidence Motion and had given indications that it was in touch with many non-NDA parties, who are so far played the role of fence-sitters and not taken a very antagonistic position towards the Modi dispensation.

After the vote was over last late night, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said that AIADMK, which has 37 members voted for the government while the BJD, which has 19 and the TRS, which has 11 walked out.

The three parties together have 67 members in Lok Sabha. NDA ally Shiv Sena (18) boycotted the entire proceedings and did not cast its vote.

Suspended RJD MP Pappu Yadav, who in past has also been accused by Opposition parties of helping the BJP, also staged a walkout before voting.

With Congress and DMK almost making it clear that they will fight the next Lok Sabha polls together, the BJP-AIADMK chemistry is set to get more friendly.

BJD's decision to stay away from the debate on the no-trust motion is significant as it has chosen to do so despite BJP now emerging as its number one challenger in Odisha relegating Congress to background as was evident by the results of the local bodies elections there last year.

BJD has been fiercely maintaining its "no truck with either Congres or BJP" policy so far. However, it's absentation from voting in Lok Sabha on Friday has helped the BJP. The indication is clear that the possibility of BJD joining any anti-BJP front before 2014 Lok Sabha polls are bleak.

CPI general secretary D Raja said it unfortunate that the regional political party chose to keep away from the discussion.

TRS also chose to help the BJP by abstaining from vote despite the fact that the No Confidence Motion was moved by a regional party TDP.

TRS chose to take a different line from Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and other Opposition parties even as its leader K Chandrasekhar Rao earlier having repeatedly asserted that his party will help unite all regional parties all regional parties to give non-BJP, non-Congress alternative. He was hoping to emerge a key face of the Federal Front proposed by Banerjee.

However, Opposition parties are taking solace in the fact that while one erstwhile NDA ally (TDP) moved the motion against the government, another existing ally (Shiv Sena) stayed away but end results show NDA did make NDA plus with AIADMK voting for it and BJD and TRS helping it by not casting their vote.

Even Shiv Sena chose not rock the boat by voting against despite having made all pro-Rahul and pro-Opposition noises in recent past. Sena is also aware that Congress and NCP are on the cusp of announcing an alliance in Maharashtra.

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