Friday, July 20, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi defeats the vote of No Confidence: Some Implications for 2019

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 There was never a moment of doubt that the Central Government headed by Narendra Modi would defeat the No Confidence Motion put forward by the Telugu Desam Party and supported by the Indian National Congress. Sonia Gandhis unexpected announcement that she had the numbers brought back memories of 1999 when she made a similar claim and the Prime Minister drew pointed attention to that. Was there a need to introduce a Vote of No Confidence? The Economy is chugging along at a steady clip of around 7.5 to 8%. Unemployment though high there has been a steady growth in the job market. Industrial production is rising and Foreign Direct Investment is also heading northwards. So all in all there is no great urgency to push forward an agenda of "regime change". However, with the Indian National Congress and other dynasty obsessed political factions logic and national interest take a second place to impulsive politically short sighted and, as it is clear from this particular instance, a suicidal race to political disaster, perhaps even extinction. Vote of No Confidence in a Parliamentary Democracy is a serious business and is a weapon that must be deployed only in the gravest of situations.

Rahul Gandhi's speech for nearly an hour was full of sound and fury and it signified nothing except that he exposed his political immaturity before the entire Nation. He made a serious allegation of political corruption against Narendra Modi with regard to the Rafael deal which was refuted by the French Government spokesman  even as the debate raged in the House. Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Government is shying away from disclosing the price of the aircraft as it wants to hide the price escalation. The fact is that the UPA Government itself has signed a no disclosure Agreement and so the Defense Minister was able to prove the falsity of Rahul Gandhis attack.He further made allegations raising questions over the demonetization drive and the surgical strike against terrorist training camps located across the Line of Control in Pakistan held part of Kashmir. Rahul Gandhi used a particularly offensive term. "Jumla".

In the vernacular language the word Jumla is used as sarcastic way of trivializing an accomplishment done with great difficulty and earnestness. Jumla is always associated with a task seriously performed and earnestly executed. Use of the word to denote the heroic efforts of the Indian Army to combat terrorism will not go well with the electorate. After his rambling dis oriented speech, Rahul walked over to the Prime Minister's seat and hugged him, a clear breach of Parliamentary protocol. And after resuming his seat Rahul Gandhi started winking at the Prime Minister another major violation of protocol and parliamentary decorum. The whole nation watched aghast at this awful display of dynastic arrogance and a concerted calculated effort to humiliate the Prime Minister on the floor of the House. In fact, the behavior of Rahul Gandhi will cost the Congress party and its allies votes in the 2019 General Elections.

After the vapid performance of Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister spoke and he completely ripped apart the false charges made by the insensitive and immature Rahul Gandhi. As usual, the Prime Minister lit into the dynastic scion by flagging the obvious fact that he is holding his office by virtue of his service to the people and not by birth. Calling himself a Kaamdaar not a Naamdaar, Modi mocked the Ganddhis by saying that he dare not see the Gandhis in the eye and he drew attention to the numerous instances when the Congress Party humiliated the Prime Ministers by offering support and then withdrawing it at the last moment: Charan Singh, Deve Gowda and I K Gujral were all victims of the power lust of the Congress party. The stellar performance of the Prime Minster resulted in the No Confidence vote being rejected.
The implications of the Lok Sabha vote need to be examined. 325 votes were cast in favor of the NDA Government and this is 11 vote more than the combined strength of the NDA in the Lok Sabha. I think that the tempo will now pick up for the next elections. Having won the vote of confidence, Narendra Modi may go in for an early elections and I predict that the BJP will get around 305 seats on its own.

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