In a bid to dent the Congress’s efforts to muster numbers for the trust vote on July 22, the BJP claimed “many Independents, smaller parties and even some disgruntled Congress MPs” were in touch with it for an Opposition victory.
The claim came as top BJP leaders called for a meeting of NDA chief ministers on July 17 and summoned all MPs to be present in Delhi by July 20 to ensure their flock remains together.
With the eight-member Akali Dal scotching speculation about the party abstaining from voting in view of the PM being a Sikh, Leader of the Opposition LK Advani held consultations with the party’s senior leaders on Tuesday.
BJP leader VK Malhotra claimed that the government may not get more than 250 votes in support of the confidence motion. The government needs 272 votes to prove a majority in the present House of 543.
Malhotra also sought a high-powered probe into the "money power and blackmail" used by the Congress for horsetrading in a bid to ensure victory. He claimed MPs are being lured with ministerial berths and corporate houses are being promised benefits in the campaign to get through the trust vote.
He said the BJP and its NDA allies have issued whips to their MPs to reach Delhi on Sunday, a day before the Lok Sabha meets to discuss the confidence motion. Advani will host a dinner for all NDA MPs that day.