Opposition gearing up for showdown in Lok Sabha | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Opposition gearing up for showdown in Lok Sabha

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2010 17:39 IST

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BJP and rest of the Opposition are bracing themselves up for a showdown in the Lok Sabha with the Congress-led coalition on the issue of price rise.

An indication to this effect was given by BJP President Nitin Gadkari.

"We will bring cut motion on petrol and diesel prices," was the stock reply of Gadkari to a host of questions put by PTI on the party's strategy on the issue.

A cryptic "no comments" was his reaction to a number of queries, including whether BJP and the 13-party grouping of non-NDA, non-UPA parties would act in tandem to corner the government.

Gadkari preferred silence on the issue of floor coordination with other parties as well. He also steered clear of questions on whether the intent of the cut-motions is to topple the government to merely embarrass it, saying, "the target is to force the government to roll back the price hike".

"First let us force the government to bend on the issue of price rise. Right now we only wish that prices are brought down," he maintained. He was non-committal on whether BJP will support the cut motion brought by other parties.

Gadkari also refused to answer when asked whether the BJP was ready for polls in case the government does not survive the cut motions.

The Opposition is planning to bring cut motions at a time when the government is already under pressure on the IPL controversy amid demands for a JPC probe and the alleged telephone tapping scandal.

A cut motion could test the strength of the government in the House. If a cut motion is adopted the government of the day will have to resign because it has been defeated on a money matter.

The 13-parties grouping accounts for 87 MPs in a House of 543, also decided to organise a nationwide strike on April 27 to press their demand. Besides the four Left parties, the grouping consists of AIADMK, BJD, SP, RJD, TDP, RLD, LJP, JD-S and INLD.

However, BSP, which has 21 MPs, could raise the comfort level of the Congress-led UPA coalition, whose support is estimated to be around 265. Observers see significance in the CBI stand in the Supreme Court that it will consider Mayawati's plea for closure of a disproportionate assets case against her.

This has raised possibilities that BSP may abstain from voting during the cut motion.

BJP has already announced that it will issue a three-line whip to its Lok Sabha MPs to be present in the House to support the cut-motions.