The no-confidence motion moved by rebel Andhra MPs of the Congress is set to develop into a full-blown crisis that could lead to the downfall of the nine-and-half-year-old Congress-led UPA government, a few months before its term actually ends in May 2014. The rebels are bent on bringing down the government, and the BJP could extend a helping hand. The BJP and the Congress rebels alone cannot accomplish the demolish-UPA-job unless other parties, including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) step in.
A senior BJP leader speaking on condition of anonymity said the Congress will try to cut short the ongoing winter session of parliament to avert the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress MPs from Andhra region along with their Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress colleagues.
He said if the session continued till December 20 as scheduled then there is a clear prospect of the UPA government falling before its time. He argued that the SP and the BSP have no stake in propping up the UPA government with only a few months left for the five-year term to end. Also, the BJP would only be too willing to vote against the government.
This was his response to a dna query whether the BJP would prefer an early Lok Sabha poll, in February rather than wait till April/May, 2014. The BJP’s calculation seems to be based on the overwhelming anti-Congress public sentiment which was revealed in the just-concluded assembly elections.
One of the Congress MPs, Lagadabati Rajgopal, who represents Vijayawada, has put forward a strange argument. He said he and his colleagues who have moved the no-confidence motion want the Congress-led UPA government to step down immediately in the wake of the anti-UPA verdict in the assembly polls. He said he is working in the long-term interests of the Congress.
He also said the people of Andhra were against the bifurcation of the state, and that the state assembly would reject president Pranab Mukherjee’s reference on Telangana. He stuck to the argument that the no-confidence motion was not about the issue of Telangana alone.
Senior Congress leader PC Chacko conceded that there was division in Congress over Telangana but the party was determined to form the new state, and it would not be deterred by the critics from within the party.
CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia said his party would not support the no-confidence motion because those who moved the motion did not consult the party. Samajwadi Party’s Shailendra Kumar said the party would take a stand only on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, proceedings in parliament were washed out for the second consecutive working today as Opposition members created pandemonium on a host of issues including JPC report on 2G, Telangana, price rise and death of children in relief camps for Muzaffarnagar (UP) riot victims. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha could not function normally as they witnessed slogan-shouting by members. Due to the uproar, Lok Sabha was adjourned twice and Rajya Sabha thrice before final adjournment.
— With Agency inputs