No-confidence vote: BJP looks to PM to target opposition in debate

NEW DELHI: On the eve of the no-confidence vote, the first against the Modi government, BJP seemed confident about its numbers + even as the party looked at PM Narendra Modi to use the debate to target the opposition with a sharp campaign-style speech.
BJP expects the PM’s intervention, which will come at the end of a day-long debate in the Lok Sabha, to strongly reiterate the government’s performance while attacking the opposition, and more specifically Congress, over opportunistic alliances and for “doublespeak” on issues like triple talaq and corruption. The themes of polarisation and communal mobilisation are sure to resonate.

BJP managers hope TRS, BJD will be neutral
The opposition is expected to raise issues such as lynchings and cow vigilantism and BJP hitting back over comments by Congress functionaries of India becoming a “Hindu Pakistan” and its “selective” references to intolerance.

Congress sources said Rahul Gandhi would make a forceful intervention targeting the government and the PM and this should also be read as an outlining of the party’s poll theme accusing BJP of being unable to deliver on its promises and mismanaging the economy and promoting majoritarian politics.

On the numbers front, BJP managers were banking on the neutrality + of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Biju Janata Dal. TRS leaders kept their cards close to the chest and said their stand would be revealed on the floor.
The party has been involved in federal front discussions led by Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee and there is speculation that the opposition is pressing it to take a stand. BJD is expected to either abstain or stage a walkout.

AIADMK, which has a sizable 37 MPs, is not expected to support the opposition motion.
The possibility of voting with the government is not ruled out but the party will not support the no-trust motion with DMK on the other side of the political fence.

BJP’s partner Shiv Sena late Thursday evening said that ” there was no whip issued to vote one way or another. + ”
With Sena a part of governments at the Centre and Maharashtra, and the no-trust motion set to fail, there was little prospect of the saffron party staging an unexpected revolt.