New Delhi, Nov. 23: Trinamul did not heed the BJP’s advice against rushing the no-confidence motion on the very first day of the winter session of Parliament, prompting L.K. Advani to ask MPs of Mamata Banerjee’s party today why they did so.
Referring to the suggestion made by Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, during an all-party meeting held by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday, Advani was quoted as asking Trinamul MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in the House: “Why didn’t you accept Sushma’s proposal?”
Bandyopadhyay, the Trinamul leader in the Lok Sabha, told Advani that the BJP’s strategy of demanding a discussion on FDI in retail under Rule 184 (which entails voting) amounted to “begging before the government for something it will never get”, a Trinamul MP said.
Justifying the no-trust motion that was not admitted because of lack of adequate MPs, the Trinamul MP quoted Bandyopadhyay as telling Advani: “Had the Opposition supported our no-confidence motion, it would not have had to go to the government with a begging bowl.”
Contacted, Bandyopadhyay said he had a brief interaction with Advani. “Yes, I told Advaniji that Trinamul had taken a dignified stand and the Opposition would have got an opportunity to corner the government had it backed the no-trust motion.”
According to sources, Sushma had requested Bandyopadhyay not to rush the no-trust motion, pointing out that it would be a wrong tactic.
Sushma, the sources said, had advised Bandyopadhyay that Trinamul first join other Opposition parties in pressing for a discussion on FDI under Rule 184 and then push their motion after consultations with Opposition leaders. The BJP leader is learnt to have promised support for the motion if it was timed appropriately.
Party leaders said they wanted to stick to Mamata’s promise of bringing the motion on the first day of the session.
“It is not that we did not approach Opposition leaders and seek their support. I personally approached everyone”, Bandyopadhyay said.
The sources said Advani told Trinamul MPs that Mamata never spoke to Sushma to seek her support for the no-confidence motion. Advani said that had Mamata spoken to all Opposition leaders, the motion might not have collapsed, the source said.
A Trinamul MP said that today, leaders of parties such as the DMK, AIADMK, TDP and the Shiromani Akali Dal “told us that had Mamata spoken to them, they would have supported the no-confidence motion”. “BJD leaders too said that had they been contacted in advance, they would have got all their 14 MPs to support the motion,” the Trinamul MP said. Three BJD MPs supported the motion.
The Trinamul MPs, however, appeared relieved that the BJP did not support the motion. “This would have tagged us with a communal party and sent a wrong message to our Muslim voters in Bengal,” the MP said.
CPM leader Surjya Kanta Mishra today said no political party wanted to support Trinamul’s no-trust motion because of Mamata’s “flip-flop and opportunistic politics”.