NDA issues whip to MPs, BJP confident government will fall (Second Lead)

July 15th, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) issued a whip to its MPs to be present in New Delhi on July 20 and the BJP Tuesday asserted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government was set to lose the trust vote July 22. “All political parties which are part of the NDA have issued a whip to their MPs to reach Delhi on July 20,” senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra told reporters here.

The move is to ensure all NDA MPs are able to cast their vote against the UPA government during the trust vote in the Lok Sabha.

“The NDA MPs would be attending a dinner to be hosted by senior BJP leader L.K. Advani,” added Malhotra.

“The Congress is indulging in horse-trading by misusing money power. But we are confident this government is not going to survive the trust vote,” said Malhotra, deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha.

He said his party was confident that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had the backing of only 250 MPs, far short of the halfway mark of 272 in the 545-member Lok Sabha.

The Left parties, with 59 members in the Lok Sabha, withdrew support to the government last week over the India-US nuclear deal, reducing the Congress-led UPA to a minority.

Malhotra’s remarks came after he announced a meeting of all chief ministers of the NDA-ruled states here Thursday to discuss a strategy to defeat the UPA government in the trust vote.

The meeting is likely to be attended by all 12 chief ministers of the NDA, said BJP sources.

Malhotra said the core group of the BJP was meeting almost daily to study the political developments. The party sources said most meetings were taking place at senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu’s residence.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the basis of the Samajwadi Party’s support to the UPA on the India-US nuclear deal.

“Two years ago, US President George Bush came to India and at that time the Samajwadi Party burnt his effigies and held countrywide demonstrations against him,” he recalled.

“Now (Samajwadi Party general secretary) Amar Singh suddenly finds Advani to be more dangerous than Bush. We would like to congratulate Amar Singh on this about-turn,” Prasad said.

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