After a day-long debate over the achievements and alleged failures of the ruling BJP-led NDA dispensation at the Centre, the no-confidence motion tabled by the Opposition was badly defeated in Lok Sabha on Friday, which is being seen as a major victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the 2019 General Elections. The motion was defeated as it was opposed by 325 lawmakers, while 126 MPs voted in its favour in a total count of 451 votes. Ahead of the voting, the PM made a scathing attack on the Congress-led Opposition, saying it was not a test for his government, but for the Congress and its allies. Replying to the no-confidence motion, PM Modi said that the Opposition's negativity and its anti-development stand has been fully exposed today. The PM said that the no-confidence motion is a rouse to keep their (Opposition) flock together. Their only aim is to remove a 'single Modi', said the PM. The PM further said that the Congress has no faith in the Election Commission, the Judiciary, the Reserve Bank and even the world bodies. Also rejecting Rahul Gandhi's charge on Rafale deal as ''childish allegations,'' PM Modi said that the deal was done with full transparency. The PM, however, exuded confidence that he has the required numbers as well as the blessings of 1.25 crore people of India.
Earlier, France categorically rejected Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's claims on Rafale deal secrecy. Amid high drama over the no-confidence motion, Rahul Gandhi had on Friday morning made a scathing attack on the ruling side and then dramatically ended his speech with a hug to PM Narendra Modi and a wink to fellow Congress MPs. In one of his sharpest attacks on the Centre, the Gandhi scion highlighted the 'jumlas' of PM Modi and his ministers and also accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of lying on Rafale jet deals.
Earlier, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) moved the no-confidence motion as the proceedings began in the Lok Sabha. As the debate began in the house, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) lawmakers staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha. Shiv Sena, too, boycotted the trust vote proceedings, with members not even signing up for attendance. BJP leader Rakesh Singh counter-attacked the TDP and asked them to remember Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's tears before siding with the Congress. As the debate progressed, several prominent speakers, including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Mallkarjun Kharge and many others participated in the debate.
In a big embarrassment to the BJP-led NDA government, Shiv Sena and Biju Janata Dal boycotted the floor proceedings ahead of the crucial trust vote. With the exit of Shiv Sena with 18 MPs and BJD with 19 MPs, the number game in Lok Sabha changed. The effective strength of the Lok Sabha is now 497, down from 534. The BJP-NDA government now needs just 249 MPs in its favour to defeat the no-confidence motion.
Ahead of the crucial no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah met the Council of Ministers and NDA leaders.