Kerala legislators busy with trust vote speculation

July 18th, 2008 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Thiruvananthapuram, July 18 (IANS) As Delhi witnesses hectic political activity ahead of the confidence vote for the Manmohan Singh government, down south in Kerala, the precincts of the state assembly Friday were also abuzz with speculation on the outcome. The state assembly is currently holding its session which would end a day after the July 22 confidence vote, but legislators fortifying themselves over a meal at the canteen Friday were leaving no possibility unexplored as they deliberated on the possible vote result.

Kerala has 140 legislators of which 98 belong to the ruling Left Democratic Front, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). The remaining belong to the Congress-led United Democratic Front.

The latest news doing the rounds is that the lone Kerala Congress (Joseph) Lok Sabha member Francis George is likely to vote for the confidence motion.

“Will that happen, I don’t think so, because his party is an ally of the ruling LDF here,” two-time Revolutionary Socialist Party legislator Kovoor Kunjumon intervened while having his meal.

“Didn’t you see today’s New Indian Express, where it is mentioned that George will vote for the confidence motion,” quipped a journalist.

“If that be the case, then their party’s Minister for Public Works Mons Joseph will have to step down,” said CPI-M legislator Saju Paul.

“Didn’t you hear that crores (millions) are being offered to parliament members belonging to small parties to vote for the Manmohan Singh government. Sad, if it is true, the levels to which democracy has stooped,” said CPI-M legislator M.K. Purushothaman.

But former Ernakulam Lok Sabha member and senior Congress legislator K.V. Thomas has no doubts about the outcome.

“Our government will sail smoothly and there is no need for any concern at all,” said a confident Thomas to IANS.

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