A matter of trust

A No-Trust Vote, if it succeeds, brings the general election nearer. A nat­io­­nal election in a few months’ time will put a huge burden on the common man, especially when economic indices are not looking too bright, like in the most parts of the world. When the government faces a No-Confide­nce Motion, its focus is bound to shift — from managing the affairs of the state to ens­uring numbers on the flo­or of the Lok Sabha by bolstering alliances in the coalition era. As such, at this stage the idea of a No-Confidence Motion can be said to be harmful to the country. Needlessly, the focus of the government is made to shift from ensuring the well-being of the people.

The Manmohan Singh government is going all out to ensure that India’s economy is brought back on track and that it once again hits a high-growth trajectory. This is being attempted in a difficult global scenario. Finance minister P. Chidambaram has set a roadmap for fiscal consolidation and is working overtime to ensure that a right environment for this is created, one that is conducive to investment from both domestic and foreign sources.

As far as the strength of the Congress-led UPA on the floor of the Lok Sabha is concerned, it has the support of more than 300 MPs while only 272 are needed for the government to survive — the ruling alliance has the support of 255 UPA MPs, which includes 207 of the Congress, and then there are 50 MPs of non-UPA parties in support. The break-up of non-UPA parties is SP (22), BSP (21), RJD (4) and Janata Dal­(Secular) (3). That gives us a total support base of 305 in the Lok Sabha.

I am confident of the stability of our government at the Centre. It will certainly last the full term. But causing the diversion of attention from economic imperatives at a time such as this cannot but be a matter of concern for all right-thinking people.

We have heard that West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee, who commands just 19 members in the Lok Sab­ha, is talking about a no-confidence motion. But without the support of the BJP, the principal Opposi­tion party, there is no possibility of ever reaching the required number of 54 MPs to initiate such a motion. If she manages to get the support of the additional 35 MPs needed to move the motion (apart from her own 19), she will have to explain to the people of West Bengal on what conditions her party reached an agreement with the BJP.
In 2004, when the Trinamul Congress contested the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BJP, it won just one seat.

When Ms Banerjee contested alongside the Congress in 2009, her party’s tally jumped to 19. This was certainly with the help of secular votes in the state. Thus, if Ms Banerjee goes ahead with the no-trust motion, she would need to explain to the secular voters of West Bengal why she is taking the support of the BJP after advocating secular politics to garner their support in the last general election. A no-trust motion will eventually help the BJP.

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