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UPA unfazed by no-confidence motion threat, says Congress

NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, NOV 20 (AGENCIES)
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Published on 21 Nov. 2012 12:29 AM IST
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Unfazed by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerejee’s plans, Congress looks confident that the UPA government will prove majority in Lok Sabha even if a no-confidence motion is brought or any other resolution on FDI in retail issue taken up under a rule entailing voting.

“We are fully confident of numbers and will prove majority on the floor of Lok Sabha when ever any such motion comes. We have more than 272,” party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit said.

At the same time, he insisted government has no plan to seek a confidence vote on the issue as it had done during the UPA I on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008 when Left parties had withdrawn support from it.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already reached out to the UPA constituents and the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which support it from outside.

The Prime Minister had earlier invited BJP leaders - Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and party veteran L K Advani over dinner CPI-M leader Prakash Karat said on Monday his party would raise in the house issues like FDI in retail, corruption and price rise. He earlier said that Mamata Banerjee’s no-confidence motion will not be useful at this stage as the government has the numbers.

Mamata sticks to no-confidence motion
A day after CPM rejected her party’s proposal to bring a no-confidence motion against UPA government, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday stuck to her gun and said she has no hesitation to support a Left-sponsored no-trust move to bring down the government.

“If necessary, I am even prepared to go to CPM state party headquarters at Alimuddin street here and talk to its secretary Biman Bose on the issue,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

“My appeal to the CPM is not to do anything to bail out this minority government which is steeped in corruption and which has taken many anti-people decisions,” she said.

She further said, “If they have reservation about our party sponsoring the motion, let the CPM bring it, we will support, provided there is assurance that they will not withdraw it midway striking a deal with Congress. If the issue is same, there is no objection to support their motion”.

To a question on BJP vis-à-vis the proposed no-trust motion of her party, she said, “Let them decide. They have to take a stand.”

Apparently hitting out at the Congress and the CPI-M for floating “BJP fear psychosis”, she said, “BJP is a political party whose ideology we do not support. Every party has his own ideology. We have our ideology but this is not a religious issue. This is an issue which involves saving the country.

She said that the BJP and the CPM also had joined hands in Parliament on the issue of Lokpal bill. This trick of CPM is an old game to bail out the Congress-led government and it would get exposed.

“It is no use playing the BJP card at a time when this government is mired in corruption and loot”.
She once again expressed her readiness to talk to the BJP saying, “If anyone wants to talk, they can talk.”

BJP not inclined to back Mamata
Realizing that the numbers are stacked in favour of the government, BJP on Tuesday appeared not inclined towards supporting the no-confidence motion that TMC has threatened to move against UPA but is gearing up to corner it on the FDI issue by seeking a vote on it.

BJP Parliamentary Party Executive Committee Tuesday held a meeting here to discuss the strategy for the forthcoming Winter Session. TMC’s no-confidence motion and FDI in multi- brand retail, as well as issues related to coal allocation and other matters, were discussed.

But the party leaders were tight-lipped about their future course of action as a common strategy is yet to be finalized with the other NDA partners in a meeting later this evening.

“We discussed in elaborate detail our strategy for the forthcoming Parliament session and have reached an opinion. We will share our views with our NDA partners and then convey the decision,” BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Party sources said BJP is watching the developments but with not enough numbers to over-throw the UPA government, it may not support TMC’s no-confidence motion.

However, on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP may have floor coordination with the Left as well as like- minded parties to press for a discussion under Rule 184, which entails voting, in Lok Sabha.

All-party meet today
Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will meet the leaders of various political parties on Wednesday to chalk out an agenda for Parliament’s smooth functioning during the winter session from Nov 22-Dec 20, officials said.

“The Speaker will meet the leaders of parties in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday,” said a statement from her office on Tuesday. The Speaker will also urge the leaders to ensure smooth functioning of the lower house of Parliament given the fact that 13 out the 20 working days in the previous monsoon session were lost to disruptions by the BJP over faulty coal block allocations, as alleged by the official auditor, it said.

Among those expected to attend the meeting are leader of the Lok Sabha and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and RJD chief Lalu Prasad besides others.

 
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