Friday, 23 November 2012

Mamata Banerjee fails numbers test, no-confidence motion falls

Mamata Banerjee fails numbers test, no-confidence motion falls
Clean Media Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 22 (CMC) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee faced a major embarrassment in Lok Sabha on Thursday when her party's bid to move a no-confidence motion against the government fell ignominiously due to a lack of numbers amid jeers from the ruling coalition benches.

The motion moved by Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay was rejected by Speaker Meira Kumar as it did not gather the support of 50 MPs as required. Once the Speaker's call for members to stand up and signal support yielded just the TMC crowd and three from BJD, the motion was deemed to have been defeated.

The outcome, along with clear signs that Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party don't wish to yank the rug from under UPA's feet, underlined that the government continues to have the safety of numbers in Lok Sabha.

Trinamool's plight could have been worse if BJD had not offered token support in response to an urgent entreaty conveyed by Bandyopadhyay on Thursday morning. BJD leaders urgently conferred with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik who gave the go ahead.

Even BJD's calculations in supporting Trinamool's motion were different from Mamata's. The Odisha outfit wants to use every opportunity to signal its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail. But it does not want to injure the government on this count. In fact, it supported the motion only because it was confident of its failure. That the gesture was essentially symbolic was underscored by its own low attendance in the House,

After she burnt her fingers in trying to scuttle Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for president, this marked the second instance when Mamata made a serious error of judgment. Her attempt to upstage the Left and claim the pole position as the principal anti-Congress force has not paid off going by Trinamool's isolation in Parliament.

The distress of Trinamool MPs in having to press for a motion that was doomed from the start was evident although they had no choice given the firmaan issued from Kolkata. In contrast to the ebullience and aggression that is typical of the party, the mood was definitely downcast as the drama in Lok Sabha ended on a predictably humiliating note.

Political sources feel Mamata is being driven by emotion and in her bid to settle scores with Congress after a bitter parting of ways, she has allowed resentment and anger to cloud her reasoning. She did lash out at the BJP and Left for being "saviours" of the government, but the argument did not seem convincing.

Apart from BJD, other regional parties like AIADMK did not respond positively to the last minute Trinamool appeal. AIADMK MPs pointed out that Mamata ought to have spoken to their leader J Jayalalithaa and they could take no step without her approval. Even the two-MP Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, which has also parted ways with Congress recently, held back.

Trinamool's attempt to reach out to BJP did not yield results either as the party had already taken a decision to focus on FDI in retail through a specific motion that entails a vote in both Houses of Parliament.

The setback saw the government rubbing it in as well with minister of state for information and broadcasting Manish Tewari saying, "We have said this earlier also. Indeed, it is very peculiar that a party of 19 MPs in the Lok Sabha is proposing such a course of action. It would be appropriate if they reflect upon the implication of their action."

No comments:

Post a Comment