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Nov 20, 2012 at 01:18pm IST

UPA claims to have the support of 300 MPs, hopes to clear no-trust vote hurdle

New Delhi: The UPA government is not worried about the proposed no-confidence motion and is confident of the support of over 300 MPs in the Lok Sabha, say sources. While the UPA claims to enjoy the support of several parties who are not part of the alliance formally that takes it past the half-way mark of 273 in the 545-member Lok Sabha, even Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is confident of taking the Opposition along with her in her mission to dethrone the UPA with a no-confidence motion on price rise and FDI in retail.

The UPA has 254 MPs in the Lok Sabha as of today after the TMC withdrew its 19 MPs from the government a few months back over fuel price rise and FDI. The 254 MPs include the Congress's 206, 18 MPs of the DMK , 9 MPs of the NCP and there are 5 MPs of the Ajit Singh-led RLD along with 3 MPs of the National Conference and 13 Independents and other smaller parties who also support the UPA.

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The UPA is also supported from outside by 21 MPs of the Samajwadi Party, 22 MPs of the Bahujan Samaj Party, 4 MPs of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and 3 MPs of the Janta Dal secular, taking its strength past 300. If a scenario emerges wherein the SP and the BSP decide to back the TMC's no-confidence motion if it comes up, the UPA will be reduced to a minority. It will be reduced to a total support of 261 MPs. And those against the government will be 247. In this case the votes of the smaller parties will be extremely crucial.

While the UPA sources indicate they're confident of sailing through a no-confidence motion, the Opposition is yet to decide what it wants to do. The BJP Parliamentary Party's Executive met at senior leader LK Advani's residence to decide on Mamata's proposed no confidence motion. BJP leader spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party will announce its stand after the NDA meeting. NDA allies will also discuss the matter on Wednesday. The BJP has so far remained non-committal. The AIADMK, too, will meet on Tuesday to finalise its decision. Sources say AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa is likely to support the move.

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The Left Front, which is Mamata's arch rival, has remained non-committal with the CPI-M saying that the party will not back such a move. CPI-M leader Prakash Karat said on Monday that Mamata's no-confidence motion against the UPA will not be useful at this stage as the government has the numbers. "There is general consensus among the opposition parties that a no-confidence motion against the UPA will not be useful at this stage as the government has the numbers," the CPI-M general secretary said.

But the Communist Party of India (CPI) made it clear that it will not bail out UPA-2. "If Mamata brings in the no-confidence motion, we will not bail out the government," senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said on Monday. But Dasgupta said that Mamata had not spoken to the CPI on the matter and added that if she managed to get the support of 50 MPs required to introduce the no-confidence motion then his party will not try to save the UPA government.

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It now remains to be seen whether the UPA will sail through the no-confidence motion, if it takes place, as the winter session begins on November 23.

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