With the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal behind it, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided it won’t go out of the way to mobilise numbers to defeat the UPA government’s vote of confidence. But at the same time, it will not help it survive the floor test by any act of omission.
Instead, the BJP will ensure that the NDA reserves its energies in Parliament and outside to show that the Congress is playing dirty to get its numbers and helping SP leaders off some cases. Also, the issue is not just the nuclear deal but a whole range of burning problems under the UPA’s dispensation.
This approach was finalised at a meeting of top BJP leaders at L.K. Advani’s residence on Tuesday as Pranab Mukherjee announced the government’s decision to seek a trust vote.
NDA leaders will meet on Wednesday to discuss when to call on President Pratibha Patil if the government dilly-dallies in seeking a vote of confidence, BJP’s V.K. Malhotra said.
A senior BJP leader said, “The focus now is not to be desperate to pull down the government. The party is seeking to keep its flock intact for the timebeing and build up on the pro-NDA wave as the towards the election to win over more allies.”
The BJP’s strategy will be to “expose” concessions that the Congress-led government grants towards the SP for its support.
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said, “If the support of the Left has paralysed this government till date, further sustenance will no longer be on political deals but corporate deals.” Using a cricket metaphor, he said, “if a catch comes, we won’t let it slip”.
Advani said at a function, “There is widespread suspicion that something scandalous has suddenly sweetened the historically bitter relations between the Congress and the SP. The PM must come clean on the deal behind the deal and assure (the people) that there is no quid pro quo — to bail out individuals charged with economic offences.”