- PM Modi tweets calling for a "constructive, disruption-free" debate
- Today is an important day in our parliamentary democracy: PM Modi
- We owe this to the people and the makers of our Constitution: PM Modi
Ahead of a no-confidence motion against the government in parliament -- the first in 15 years -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted calling for a "constructive, disruption-free" debate. "India will be watching us closely," said PM Modi.
"Today is an important day in our parliamentary democracy. I am sure my fellow MP colleagues will rise to the occasion and ensure a constructive, comprehensive and disruption-free debate. We owe this to the people and the makers of our Constitution," he tweeted.
Today is an important day in our Parliamentary democracy. I am sure my fellow MP colleagues will rise to the occasion and ensure a constructive, comprehensive & disruption free debate. We owe this to the people & the makers of our Constitution. India will be watching us closely.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2018
The opposition-sponsored move was made at the start of the monsoon session of parliament. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP)'s motion, submitted first, was accepted by the speaker.
The government has enough numbers to defeat the motion. PM Modi will reply to the debate that is widely seen as a launch pad for his campaign for the 2019 general elections.
The BJP-led coalition NDA has about 312 members in the 533-member house. The majority mark stands at 267 as 11 seats are vacant. The Congress and the other parties that support the no-trust motion have about 152 seats.
The opposition says the motion is not about numbers but about making the government accountable.
"We will use the occasion to expose the government and raise various issues concerning the people of the country and tell the truth to the people," the Congress's Anand Sharma said.
The ruling BJP reached out to upset allies and friendly parties for support and according to some reports, also touched base with some of its own lawmakers who were expected to skip the vote on account of poor health or other reasons.
The Telugu Desam Party will initiate the debate and Rahul Gandhi will be the Congress's lead speaker.