United opposition leaves Modi government red-faced, it screams. United opposition. United by what? National interest? Or scoring points? Doesn't matter. When you want to paint a picture that shows a #blowtomodi, you use everything. Like in cricket, it doesn't matter where the runs come from as long as they come.
The Narendra Modi government suffered an embarrassment in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday when non-NDA parties joined hands to force an amendment to the motion of thanks on the President's address to amplify their charge that the new regime had failed to curb high-level corruption and bring back black money allegedly stashed abroad.
Cant you see the glee?
Suffered, embarrassment for government.
Joined hands, force, amplify for the opposition.
The amendment, moved by CPM members Sitaram Yechury and P Rajeeve, was accepted with 118 votes in its favour and 57 against it, brutally exposing the government's lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha — a handicap which has kept it from enacting laws that it believes will help accelerate growth.
Brutally exposing, handicap, that it believes (of course, they had no such doubt when the great UPA came up with amazingly regressive laws) for government.
Though the setback is just symbolic, the deficit of numbers is an old story which is not going to change anytime soon. It will, however, rankle the government because is now party to a resolution criticizing itself. In fact, the opposition remorselessly pressed home its huge numerical advantage immediately after the PM had stoutly rejected the charge of failure on the black money issue. Yechury and others in the opposition rebuffed parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naud's repeated pleas not to press for amendments. The opposition said it was not allowed to seek clarifications from the PM.
This was the fourth time when the opposition forced amendments to the motion of thanks on the President's address — all instances reflecting the mismatch in the numbers of the two Houses within two years of Lok Sabha elections. The previous examples were in January 1980 (Congress had swept LS polls but its opponents controlled Rajya Sabha), December 1989 (V P Singh helped by BJP and Left had a majority in LS but RS had a Congress majority), and in March 2001 (BJP along with its allies had a comfortable majority in LS but not in RS).
Note the words again. Setback, government criticizing itself, repeated pleas for Modi.
Remorselessly, numerical advantage, rebuffed for their favorites.
The setback brought out the government's failure to win over friends from non-aligned benches, especially from among those who are hostile to Congress and to each other. Arch rivals CPM and Trinamool Congress as well as SP and BSP voted in favour of the amendment. BJD, which was ambivalent about opposing the government until recently, joined in, ensuring that the amendments, which already had the support of Congress, JD(U), CPI and DMK, went through rather smoothly.
The margin underscored the tough task awaiting the government as it seeks passage of contentious legislations like land acquisition, insurance and others. The opposition frustrated the plan to pass the insurance bill by sitting tight over it, thus denying the government even the opening to call a joint sitting where it, with its superior LS numbers, can overwhelm the opposition. The government had always anticipated the problem and had tried to get around it by promulgating ordinances, and plans to hold joint sittings. But the challenge has proved to be more nettlesome and has already delayed the government's plan to hit the ground running.
Non aligned benches in opposition. Well, when it comes to opposing Modi and BJP, every one of these parties has aligned under the banner of 'secularism'.
Tough task for government, contentious legislations (did you see those words used for the junk like RTE, LAB, FSB?), denying an opening, nettlesome - yes, see where those words are used
Frustrated the plan by sitting tight over it, challenge...brilliant.
BJP is in a minority and will, even it does well in the elections for major states, remain so until mid-2017. Its "communal" image prevents it from garnering allies. In fact, its resurgence and growth in new areas has been the catalyst for the coming together of rivals like CPM and Trinamool.
The amendment, moved by Yechury and Rajeeve, regretted that "there is no mention in the (President) address about the failure of the government to curb high-level corruption and to bring back black money". Since the House passed the amendment, it will now be added to the President's address.
And there you go, communal BJP. All others, seculars, raise your hands. Remember there was a time when the BJP was asked to be bipartisan. We see no such thing in the editorial pages while when the BJP was in opposition disrupting the parliament for very valid reasons, all the papers screamed bipartisanship (borrowed from Obama). Now, that the shoe is on the other foot, bipartisanship has been erased from our lexicon.
Now see this article from 2012, when BJP disrupted Parliament over Coal Blocks (perfectly legitimate as you might imagine? Especially in the light of the latest round of auctions of coal blocks?)
But see the verbiage - starting with the heading. Monsoon session washout: PM blames BJP for disrupting Parliament?
Catch that? Opposition leaves BJP red-faced, but PM blames BJP. How cool is that?
BJP is accused of 'negating democracy' no less. But the current situation - the words used for the opposition are so encouraging.
BJP was adamant - Congress said a flat no. See the verbiage again.
If the Winter Session of Parliament last December, with the 2G logjam and the war over the Lokpal Bill, is one of the worst that the country had seen, this Monsoon Session gives it a tough fight. In the words of Vice President Hamid Ansari, "This session likely to be remembered for work not done."
If you thought that was NDTV, which is anyway the BJPs best friend reporting, the other newspaper is no better. Indeed, the headline goes, Opposition disrupts Parliament, BJP demands PMs resignation.
Notice that they did not leave the government red-faced on corruption allegations. But today, the opposition has made the government red-faced on a non-existent random allegation.
So, thats your style guide for today. Feel free to use it.