UPA to seek trust vote July 22

July 11th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, reduced to a minority after losing the Left support over the India-US nuclear deal, will seek a trust vote in parliament July 22, a minister said Friday. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) decided to take up the voting during a two-day session that will end July 22.

The decision will be conveyed to President Pratibha Patil Friday, government sources said here.

After his return from Japan, where he met US President George W. Bush on the sidelines of the G8 summit, Manmohan Singh met Patil Thursday evening and expressed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s readiness to go for a floor test.

Allies of the Congress in the UPA met Friday morning at Manmohan Singh’s residence and expressed confidence that the government would survive the trust vote.

“The government stands by its commitment that it would face parliament before going to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Board of Governors,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told IANS.

The government had stated that it would prove its majority in the 545-seat Lok Sabha before going to the IAEA to finalise the India-specific safeguards pact.

The UPA is confident of proving its numbers in the Lok Sabha.

“We have enough numbers to prove majority. We already have more than 280 members (which is eight more than the half-way mark 272 in the Lok Sabha) and we are trying to convince more members,” Minister Ravi said.

Congress sources claimed that apart from the 236 MPs in the UPA, it will get the support of 37 Samajwadi Party members, a few independents, two of the three Janata Dal-Secular MPs and its estranged ally Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s three members.

The government has been reduced to a minority after 61 MPs of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left bloc and an allied party withdrew their legislative support Wednesday after propping it up for four years.

The Left, which vehemently opposes the nuclear deal, was protesting against the government’s move to finalise the safeguards pact at the IAEA, a crucial step to take the contentious deal ahead.

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