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No confidence motion: TRS, BJD, Shiv Sena to abstain from voting, Lok Sabha strength down to 486

By Deepika
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    New Delhi, July 20: After the Shiv Sena and the BJD, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) too decided to abstain from the no-trust vote against the Modi government in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

    Naveen Patnaik

    Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) walked out of the Lok Sabha shortly after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that voting will take place at 6 pm on Friday.

    Its leader in the Lok Sabha, Bhartuhari Mahtab, told the house that neither the ten years of the UPA nor the four years of the NDA government benefited Odisha, and since this debate was not relevant for the state and its people, they saw little point in participating in it.Despite BJP claims about Shiv Sena backing the government, the upset ally stayed away from parliament after last-minute instructions from party chief Uddhav Thackeray.

    Later, TRS too followed the suit. The party has 11 members in the Lok Sabha.

    The walkout reduces the house strength, and thus increases the prospects of the NDA winning by an even bigger majority.

    There are 533 members in the Lok Sabha (excluding the Speaker) at present.  But its effective strength will come down to 486 if 19 MPs of the BJD and 18 of the Shiv Sena do not participate in the voting process.

    The Telugu Desam Party, which was the first to seek the no-confidence motion, initiated the debate and Rahul Gandhi will be the Congress's lead speaker. The BJP has been allotted 3 hours and 33 minutes to speak, while the Congress has been given 38 minutes.

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