The onset of the 16th Lok Sabha boasted of the highest-ever number of first time MPs — 320, to be precise. In the closing months of the current Lok Sabha's term, one first-timer, Jayadev Galla, will be remembered for a long time, become part of history and be seen as a reference point for students of politics and parliamentary procedures.
Galla became the lead speaker, the one who initiated the debate on the no-confidence motion. He was chosen by his boss, TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister, N Chandrababu Naidu to stake his claim to fame. This no-confidence motion and the speaker who opened the debate in Parliament will go down in history for unusual reasons.
This was perhaps the first time that a first-time MP from a regional party got to initiate the debate. This would also be the first time that that a regional party, whose strength is 16 in a 543-member House (making it the seventh largest), would move the motion. This would also be the first time that an attempt to remove the Central government is being made on a state issue, the alleged discrimination of Andhra Pradesh. This one-of-akind no-confidence motion also saw one of the major parties, the BJD with 20 MPs, walk out of the House even before motion could be taken up.
Galla made his mark in the opening hour of this day-long debate. He does not belong to the ranks of a stereotypical Indian politician. He is a businessman, an industrialist and has spent the better part of his life in the US. He began his speech by talking about Telugu film Bharat Ane Nenu. a movie about an Oxford graduate who gives up on his academic career abroad to return to India and reform politics. One can easily conclude why he referred to that movie.
The speech in a no-confidence motion is taken to be important because it sets agenda for the day and broadly deliberates on national issues. But Friday's first speaker's concern was all about Andhra Pradesh, the alleged betrayal, and comparison and contrast between Andhra and Telangana. Usually it is the ruling party that counters the speaker who initiates the debate but this time, the counter and challenge came from two regional rivals, the TRS and YRS Congress Party.
Galla will also be remembered because while initiating the no-confidence motion debate, he was reading from a prepared text, which ran into dozens of pages. He indulged in a brief exchange with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Majahan. After around half an hour into his speech, he tersely told Speaker that he would need an additional 30 minutes, adding that historically, anyone who initiated the debate took no less than an hour to speak. The House rarely sees such a sharp exchange between a Speaker and an MP, wherein the latter prevails.
Updated Date: Jul 20, 2018 13:04 PM