PM flashes ‘V-sign’ ahead of crucial trust vote

July 21st, 2008 - 12:18 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday flashed the victory V-sign as he entered the Parliament House complex where his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government faces its toughest political test as it seeks a vote of confidence at a special session of the Lok Sabha. A confident looking prime minister said his government would prove its majority in the house. He was flanked by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi.

The prime minister will introduce a one-line vote of confidence motion for his government at the special session of the 543-member house.

The prime minister himself is not a member of the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister is facing a crucial moment to prove his government’s majority in the house in wake of the Left parties withdrawing support from his government earlier this month over the Indo-US nuclear deal issue, reducing it to a minority.

Leader of Opposition L. K. Advani will oppose the motion while leader of the house and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will speak in favour. The debate on the vote of confidence will continue till Tuesday evening, with MPs speaking for and against the motion, when the voting will finally take place.

The UPA government has been claiming that it has the numbers even though things continue to be uncertain for it. Smaller parties and independent members have a crucial role to play in the trust vote.

MPs from all parties started arriving at Parliament House Monday before the crucial trust vote. Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee called a meeting of leaders of various political parties in his chamber just before the special session started, making it clear that he would preside over the proceedings much against the wishes of his party, the CPI-M.

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