The United Progressive Alliance’s task of crossing the magical majority mark of 272 members in the Lok Sabha just got a little easier.
On Monday, of the nine Independents elected this time, six clearly indicated their willingness to join the Treasury benches.
Two are still undecided while only one — Inder Singh Namdhari from Chatra in Jharkhand — has categorically ruled out backing the Congress.
Among the six who are willing, three are rebels. They are Kirori Lal Meena, MP from Dausa, Rajasthan, from the BJP; Digvijay Singh, from Banka in Bihar from the Janata Dal-United; and Sadashiv Mandlik, from Kolhapur, Maharashtra, from the Nationalist Congress Party.
The two who are undecided are also rebels — Kalyan Singh, MP from Etah in Uttar Pradesh, from the BJP; and Om Prakash Yadav, MP from Siwan in Bihar, from the JD-U.
The last three are genuine free floaters: Madhu Koda from Singhbhum, who achieved the amazing feat of being Jharkhand’s chief minister for almost two years without having any party affiliation; and peasant leaders Baliram Jadhav and Raju Shetty, MPs from Palghat and Hatkanangale, respectively.