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'UPA may scrape through in vote trust'

The top CPI-M leadership began discussions on the emerging political scenario and projecting general elections in November.

delhi Updated: Jul 19, 2008 18:34 IST

The top CPI(M) leadership on Saturday began discussions on the emerging political scenario, projecting general elections in November and the government scraping through in the trust vote with a slender margin.

The assessment emerged as Politburo of the party placed its report on recent political developments, including withdrawal of Left support to the UPA, before the CPI(M) Central Committee at start of its two-day meeting.

A top CPI(M) leader said discussions were also being held on sprucing up the state party organisations for the ensuing polls to ensure a well-oiled machinery in place beforehand and to cash in on the Left's firm stand on the nuclear deal, price rise and other issues.

The assessment of the party leaders was that the confidence vote of July 22 would be "very unpredictable and close." The confidence exuded by the government and the UPA when the Left parties withdrew support that they would get over 280 votes in favour, has now waned, they felt.

Even if the government wins the trust vote, "it will not be a smooth affair to run the government as there could be voting on each and every issue. The UPA, we feel, will be under tremendous pressure to cobble a majority for each and every vote," the senior party leader said.

Regarding the new relationship established between the Left and the BSP, he said this was limited to the trust vote in which the party headed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati would vote against the UPA at the Centre, taking a position opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal.

On the demand by a section of the party for resignation of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, the leader said any decision on the matter has been left to the veteran parliamentarian himself.

"We have been consistently maintaining that the party will not do anything to denigrate the high constitutional post. It is up to him," the CPI(M) leader said.

The major Left party from the whip to vote against the UPA government during the trust vote on July 22 has excluded Chatterjee. The exclusion of Chatterjee is significant, as the CPI(M) has so far maintained that he should toe the party line to vote against the government.

Chatterjee, who has been keeping the suspense over quitting the post, is said to be miffed with the party over his name being included in the list of MPs withdrawing support to the government without consulting him.

Besides General Secretary Prakash Karat, senior leaders like Sitaram Yechury, VS Achuthanandan, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Manik Sarkar are among the leaders attending the crucial meeting of the 86-member Central Committee.

Ahead of the central committee meeting, members of the powerful politburo met for about one-and-half hours.