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Why BJP is wary of a no-trust vote

delhi Updated: Nov 20, 2012 23:52 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Inadequate numbers to dislodge the UPA government, coupled with its bitter memories of the 2008 trust vote, are behind the BJP's apparent wariness to support a no-confidence motion at this juncture.

The BJP's "inner wisdom", as party leaders say, is that there is no point striking at the government with a no-trust move unless one is sure of its defeat on the floor of the House.

A no-confidence motion, as mooted by Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal chief minister, now might end up bolstering Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, they say.

That's because its two principal props - Samajawadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party - are in no mood for a snap poll. They keep its tally way beyond the magic figure of 272 in a House of 543 Lok Sabha members. Even the DMK, which is unhappy with the Congress, is not ready to rock the boat.

Leaders of BJP and its alliance of opposition parties, the NDA, who deliberated the options in two separate meetings on Tuesday, said they would consult other political parties "to explore the possibility."

But, for the moment, their focus will be on the UPA's scams and failures.

As BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad puts it, the NDA would prefer to move a resolution under voting provisions seeking to disapprove the government's decisions on issues like contentious FDI in retail and harp on its failures and scams.

As for the no-trust vote, BJP leaders admit privately that's not possible unless the SP or the BSP pull the plug. Till then, the BJP would prefer a "brick by brick" approach rather than a heavy push to pull down the government.

Even the BJP's allies, Janata Dal(U) and Shiv Sena, and Deve Gowda's Janata Dal(Secular), TDP and Biju Janata Dal had to expel one each for cross-voting.

"We know that the Congress can again cobble up numbers by breaking parties as they did in 2008," said a party leader.

"Opposition MPs become vulnerable when a year or more is left of their term in Parliament. We would rather avoid a repeat of 2008," said another party leader.