Quick to strike but afraid of wounding too grievously, the Opposition will move an adjournment motion against the government on price rise, rather than a no-confidence motion, in the winter session of Parliament.
An adjournment motion simply means, all the other business of the House has to be adjourned in favour of a discussion on the adjournment motion. It is a form of censure of the government and if it is carried on, the government has to resign.
Interestingly the signs are that the left parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will collaborate in the Adjournment motion. In Lok Sabha, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has a strength of over 303 and. thus the motion is sure to be defeated. In the Rajya Sabha, however, the government has a slender majority. Both the Samajwadi party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) continue to support the government while opposing it outside Parliament.
A no-confidence motion, the BJP fears will only have the effect of cementing the UPA allies together, whereas, a censure motion on price rise will isolate the Congress. “No ally will defend the Congress party on that. And nobody wants a mid-term poll,” said an opposition source
Although during discussions between leaders of the Left parties and BJP-led NDA, the principal Opposition party had told the Left leaders that it would consult all its partners on November 21 before taking a final decision. It is likely that BJP would give its support to the adjournment motion.
“Yes, we are in touch with members of the Left parties because they want to bring an adjournment motion. We were also thinking on similar lines but a final decision would be taken during the NDA meeting on November 21,” said a senior NDA leader.
Senior BJP leaders indicated that they have good floor coordination with members of Left, Biju Janata Dal and AIADMK but the key player in the adjournment motion would be Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati who has 21 Members of Parliament in Lok Sabha supporting the United Progressive Alliance government.
“We have been advised not to criticise the UPA government too much both inside and outside the Parliament,” said a senior leader of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
During the all party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, leaders of the Left parties said the BJP had, in the last session promised to supposrt an adjournment motion but had resiled from their promise, settling instead for a resolution on the issue of price and state of Indian economy.
“There was a resolution on price rise and economic problems in the monsoon session but there is no respite since then. We will raise the issue again this time. We have discussed the issue with BJP leaders at the all party meeting as well,” said a senior leader of Left.
Apart from the crucial issue of price rise, BJP is also planning to take up the issue of black money stashed in foreign accounts, especially after HSBC Geneva had given names of 700 account holders who had allegedly stashed illegal money in the bank.
Senior BJP leaders also want a discussion on creation of a separate state of Telangana but they remained non-committal on the recent decision of Uttar Pradesh government to divide the state.
There is no end to the problems of the union government as NDA leadership want s the Prime Minister to explain what made him call Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani a man of peace when the country had not taken any action against those responsible for the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.