The Telugu Desam Party has now indicated that the AIADMK protest in Lok Sabha could have been "stage-managed".
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, party leader YS Choudhary, a former minister in the Narendra Modi government, said: "I cannot say BJP told the AIADMK to go to floor of house, since I do not have proof. But the inference is that this is all stage managed". Mr Choudhary gave up the science and technology portfolio days before the TDP, the BJP's biggest ally in south, pulled out of the NDA last week.
The TDP's pitch for a no-confidence motion had the support of most opposition parties, including the Congress, Left and the Trinamool Congress. Despite lacking the numbers to pose a serious challenge to the government, the parties had welcomed the opportunity to "send a message". But the AIADMK has said it ha no interest in the no-confidence motion. Last year, after PM Modi's visit to Tamil Nadu, there was speculation of the BJP wooing the party to gain a foothold in the state.
On the floor of the house, Union minister Rajnath Singh said the government was ready for any discussion, including a no-confidence motion. But as slogan-shouting and booing continued, the Speaker adjourned the house a second time, saying, "I'm duty-bound to bring the no-confidence motion. But I cannot do so that unless the House is in order".
The proceedings in the Lok Sabha have been continuously disrupted since parliament reconvened for the budget session on March 5. The notice for a no-confidence motion, moved by both TDP and its arch-rival YSR Congress, could not be taken up last week due to the protests.