"Who Says We Don't Have Numbers?": Sonia Gandhi To NDTV On No-Trust Move

When NDTV asked her about the opposition's lack of numbers to push this campaign, Sonia Gandhi shot back: "Who says we don't have the numbers?"

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In 2003, Sonia Gandhi moved the no-confidence motion slamming the Atal Behari Vajpayee. (File)


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Sonia Gandhi's comment was cautiously non-committal
  2. First no-trust motion to be accepted in parliament since 2003
  3. In 2003, no-trust motion against NDA government was defeated by a mile

In 2003, Sonia Gandhi, as leader of opposition, moved a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led government, which was defeated by a mile.

Fifteen years on, another no-confidence motion - by the Telugu Desam Party of N Chandrababu Naidu - will be taken up in parliament. The big day is on Friday and this time too, the BJP-led government has enough numbers to sail through.

The BJP has 275 members, past the majority mark of 268. With allies, it has 315. 

Neutral parties like the AIADMK, BJD and Telangana Rashtra Samiti have 68 and the rest of the opposition has 152 members.

But when NDTV asked her about the opposition's lack of numbers to push this campaign, Sonia Gandhi shot back: "Who says we don't have the numbers?"

The former Congress chief was seen as cautiously non-committal as the opposition parties try their best to put up an impressive performance during the no-trust debate.

The Congress Working Committee, the party's highest body, is expected to meet on Sunday to discuss strategy in parliament.

The opposition is really viewing this as a chance to target the government on subjects like mob killings and rapes.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government is ready to face the no-confidence move and win it as it enjoys a two-third majority in the Lok Sabha.

"We want to stop the lies of the opposition and set the record straight. We are ready to answer and face all questions that are being asked," he said. 

This is the first no-trust motion to be moved and accepted in parliament since 2003.

Like then, it is a largely political exercise at a time all parties are prepping for the state elections in December and the 2019 national polls.

The government is in no real threat as the BJP-led coalition enjoys a comfortable majority.

In 2003, Sonia Gandhi moved the no-confidence motion slamming the Atal Behari Vajpayee for taking back George Fernandes after his exit from the cabinet over a defence scandal.

A notice for a no-trust motion needs the support of at least 50 MPs.

The TDP members had moved a no-confidence motion during the previous Budget session too, but it was rejected by the Speaker because of disruptions in the house.



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