TMC’s no-trust vote plan sinks without numbers

Mamata Banerjee

THE Trinamool Congress's bid to bring a no-confidence motion against the government for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail flopped in Lok Sabha on Thursday, failing by a long margin to get the mandatory support of 50 MPs needed for the motion to be accepted.

The TMC's lack of homework was evident when even its ally SUCI's lone MP Tarun Mondal refused to support the motion because his party had not been formally asked.

Dissident TMC MP Kabir Suman was not in the House, which brought the party's strength down to 18. Support from three BJD MPs took the tally to 21.

Sources said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had not got in touch with parties like the AIADMK and BJD to secure their support, choosing to delegate this task to her deputies. No formal communication was sent to other parties.

Party insiders said the move came across as mere posturing. Internally, leaders called it "parliamentary adventurism" by a small party.

The TMC claimed a tactical victory over the Left, by calling them "saviours of the anti-people UPA government".

"We have managed to show the country that the Left is not serious in bringing down this government, or else they would have supported us. They are in the same bracket as the BJP by bringing a motion to discuss FDI in retail in the House," TMC MP Saugata Roy said.

No one wanted the TMC to be seen as taking the lead in the opposition to FDI in retail," Roy said. "We are the true opposition. Our ministers quit on matters of political principle."

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