Triple talaq bill delay, ‘Muslim party’ perception, legislations on OBC and medical panels and a failed trust vote in Monsoon Session may puncture Opposition sails, propel issues from floor of the House to the people’s court
The BJP’s biggest political game this season has begun. It unfurled in Parliament on Wednesday as the Monsoon Session opened and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted the ‘No Confidence’ motion moved by the Congress, ex-NDA partner TDP and Sharad Pawar’s NCP.
While the parliamentary debate on Friday — this is the first time in 15 years that a trust motion has been moved and accepted — will be a public spectacle, the BJP is thinking of taking a massive stride in the 2019 race right on the floor of the House. What happens in Parliament will reverberate across the country.
In the Budget Session too, the YSR Congress and TDP tried to move such a motion, but it could not be taken up owing to ruckus and repeated adjournments. So what changed this time even when the numbers are in the BJP’s kitty?
The party has gone to Parliament this time with the clear agenda of exposing the Opposition. It enters the Monsoon Session armed with Shahshi Tharoor’s anti-Hindu remarks, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s doublespeak on rights of women after he gave just three berths to women in his new CWC (one being his mother) and his alleged assertion in a closed-door meeting that Congress is a Muslim party. But above all, the issue of triple talaq, raised by the PM at his Azamgarh rally in UP, will get more potent if the Congress again tries to stall a bill to make instant divorce punishable by three years in jail.
It seems the BJP’s gameplan is to take the fight in Parliament out to the court of the Indian people; to prove not just its majority in the House but by association stake its claim for another term in 2019.
The Congress, by trying to create an atmosphere of uncertainty among people by moving the No Confidence Motion, may have walked straight into the BJP’s trap.
The PM can now paint the Opposition, especially the Congress, as obstructionist, anti-women and anti-Hindu. PM Modi set the agenda for the session on Wednesday saying he expected all parties to debate constructively the welfare of the people and to guide the government.
He has shown humility, taken the moral high ground, setting the stage for a ferocious attack on the Congress.
If the BJP can successfully play up delay in legislations as the Opposition’s doing, here is a look at voter segments the Congress may upset:
1. The Triple Talaq Bill: Already annoyed over the delay, many Muslim women are unlikely to take more obstruction lightly. Support from this unexpected quarter is one of the reasons attributed to the BJP’s sweep in the UP assembly polls. The PM recently pushed the wedge deeper between Muslim men and women when he asked Rahul Gandhi to clarify if his ‘party of Muslims’ had any place for the community’s women.
2. The Medical Commission Bill: After a spate of medical negligence shockers, the middle and lower middle classes will take kindly to any stalling of this Bill.
3. The OBC Commission Bill: It strives to give the Backward Classes Commission constitutional status. It is close to the heart of the biggest caste combine in India.
With those formidable stakes, the Congress is caught between its own devil and a hard Parliament debate.
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Last Updated 19, Jul 2018, 3:04 PM