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No-trust vote: Parliament begins debate, BJD walks out, Sena absent

With the conclusion foregone, since numbers are stacked heavily in favour of the ruling NDA, parliamentarians began to debate at 11 am on Friday the no-confidence motion that has been initiated by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on the Centre’s reluctance to give Andhra Pradesh a ‘special status’.

NDA partners, however critical of top gun BJP like the Shiv Sena, have decided to close ranks and vote against the no-confidence move. Several other fence-sitters – AIADMK, TRS and the BJD – were likely to abstain, tilting the scales further in BJP’s favour. The ruling disposition, which has hauled al heads to Parliamant today, is likely to get 315 ‘ayes’ if the vote goes through in the evening after the debate ends at 6 pm.

Opposition parties, which hope to ‘expose’ the ruling government, appear to have fallen into a political trap by moving this motion as a defeat is certain. The debate preceding the vote has just given Prime Minister Narendra Modi the opportunity to kickstart the BJP’s 2019 election campaign.

A senior Congress leader indicated that if the motion ends up being “a battle of rhetoric between Modi and Rahul, then one knows who is the better orator”.

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