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We have the majority, says Mukherjee

The UPA government insisted it had 276 MPs on its side, five more than the required majority, and rejected claims of NDA and Left that it has been reduced to a minority.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2008 06:05 PM IST

As Lok Sabha began a debate on confidence motion, government on Monday insisted that it had 276 MPs on its side, five more than the required majority, and rejected claims of NDA and Left parties that it had been reduced to a minority.

"I want to correct certain facts," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his spirited speech on behalf of the government during the debate.

He said Leader of Opposition L K Advani has sought to "build a case on high moral ground that this government has been reduced to a minority after withdrawal of support by the Left parties."

However, the fact is that even after Left parties withdrew support of their 61 MPs on July 8, Samajwadi Party, with 39 MPs, extended support, Mukherjee said.

As a result, the total number of MPs of UPA and its allies was 276 which is well past the required majority number in the House having effective strength of 541.

"But the Leader of Opposition thought he has brought a case that government has lost majority," Mukherjee said, adding "whether or not we have the majority will be proven when buttons are touched (tomorrow). Please wait till then."

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