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Nov 19, 2012 at 03:12pm IST

UPA faces a tough test, Mamata plans to 'bowl out' govt with her trust vote

New Delhi: The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government could face its toughest challenge in Parliament during the winter session when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee plans to bring a no-confidence motion. The UPA has been reduced to a minority government after Mamata pulled out of the coalition protesting against "anti-poor" reforms measures taken by the Centre.

While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already hosted dinner for UPA leaders on Friday to firm up a joint strategy on various issues like FDI that are expected to come up during the session beginning next week, he has also met leaders of crucial outside supporters Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The Congress is confident and says it will show Mamata the party's strength in Parliament. "Mamata Banerjee will find that when she brings if she brings no-confidence motion this she will be defeated with a resounding majority. The people of India and opposition will know the strength of Manmohan Singh's government under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi is very strong that we cannot be defeated. We welcome the no-confidence motion. We will show her our strength," said Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

The Congress managers have put a lot of faith in Samajwadi Party and BSP and believe that these two parties would bail out the government if there is a move to topple the Manmohan Singh regime. While the Samajwadi Party will be keen to go in for an early Lok Sabha election to cash in on the favourable wave following the triumph in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections a few months ago and has already announced the names of 55 candidates, the BSP does not want to face the electorate so soon.

Mamata has sought the support of all the opposition parties including bitter rivals - the Left Front. Her party plans to move a no-confidence motion on day one of the winter session, which begin on November 22. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has the largest number of MPs in the Lok Sabha after the Congress, will decide on its strategy during the winter session on Tuesday, the party and its allies who together form the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are likely to meet on Wednesday.

BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi has confirmed that Mamata approached Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj for support on her motion against the government. Mamata will first have to muster the support of at least 50 MPs to introduce a no-confidence motion and then get the entire opposition to back it if she indeed plans to "bowl out" the government.

"We will move the motion on the first day of the session. TMC will bring a no confidence motion. The motion will not topple the government but we will bowl the government out. I am willing to talk to the Left and BJP for this," Mamata had said on November 17.

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Ray said his party is fighting the UPA and its economic polices like allowing FDI on principles and not on numbers in Parliament. "I've seen Joshi's (BJP MP) statement that our leader contacted Sushma. I have no personal knowledge of this but Mamata is the party supremo. She'll talk with whoever is necessary," said Roy.

"Our confidence comes not from our numbers but from the principle that we have taken that we will move a no-confidence motion against some anti-people policies by the Government of India," replied Ray when asked that his party does not have 50 MPs required to bring in a no-confidence motion.

The numbers games in Lok Sabha:

UPA - 252

Congress - 204 (including two nominated members from Anglo-Indian community)

DMK - 18

NCP - 9

RLD - 5

NC - 3

Others - 9

Independent MPs - 4 (We have counted only those who have given letters of support)

Who are the 10 others formally supporting UPA?

IUML - 2

AIMM - 1


BPF - 1


SDF - 1

VCK - 1

SWP - 1

BVA - 1

Outside support to UPA - 50

BSP - 21

SP - 22

RJD - 4

JDS - 3

NDA - 151

BJP - 114

JDU - 20

SS - 11

SAD - 4

JMM - 2

LEFT, TMC and Others - 87

LEFT - 24 (CPM 16, CPI 4, Forward Block 2, RSP 2)

TMC - 19

BJD - 14

ADMK - 9

TDP - 6

JVM - 2

OTHERS - 14 (Includes TRS - 2, YSR Congress - 2, AGP - 1, MDMK - 1, HJC - 1, NPF - 1 and Independents - 5, MIM- 1)

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