New Delhi: With divisions apparent in the Opposition, the UPA government is confident of that no cut motion will be introduced in Parliament over the issue of price rise on Tuesday.
Both the Houses of Parliament have been adjourned till 12 pm.
As things stand, it is clear that it is only the BJP, along with the NDA, and the Left parties which are still sticking to their plan to introduce cut motions to stall the passage of the Finance Bill in the Parliament today..
Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “The Opposition does not have required numbers to destablise the government. We are confident of comfortably defeating the cut motion in Parliament.”
While Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister PK Bansal claimed: “Despite threats from the Opposition parties, we are confident that the cut motion will not be passed.”
Clearly, the government is breathing easy with both the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal indicating that they are not in favour of pulling down the Manmohan Singh-led government down at this juncture.
The two parties say that they are not in favour of voting “without a discussion.”
However, they are standing with the Left in support of the nationwide hartal called today by the 13 parties.
While the Left, along with AIADMK, BJD and the TDP plan to move cut motions and insist for division, the RJD and SP intend to “interrupt” proceedings. And the UPA hopes that this interruption helps avoid any division. And in the din, helps pass the Demand for Grants by a voice vote.
Realising the divisions within the Opposition, a crucial meeting of the BJP parliamentary board has also begun in the national capital to discuss its strategy.
Clarifying BJP’s stand on cut motion, its spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said, “Our objective is not to topple the UPA government but to expose its vulnerability.”
Meanwhile, Mayawati-led BSP has convened a meeting of its MPs today to decide its course of action in the Parliament when the Opposition moves Cut Motions against the UPA government’s budget proposals.
The BSP, which supports the government from outside, is not expected to support the opposition move. Its stance is being linked to CBI telling Supreme Court that it was prepared to consider Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati`s plea for closing a disproportionate assets case against her.
The BSP has 21 members in the House. As per reports, the UPA government has struck a deal with Mayawati that her MPs will support the government in the House and in return, she will get relief in the disproportionate assets case.
The numbers game
In a House of 543 members, the government needs at least 272 MPs for a simple majority. The UPA has the support of 257 MPs including 207 from Congress, 19 of Mamata Banerjee`s Trinamool Congress, 18 of DMK, 9 of NCP, 3 of National Conference and one from the MIM. With outside support of Muslim League that has two members in the House and six single-member parties, the total goes up to 265.
The government is still seven short of the required number which could come from Mayawati`s BSP. But she is driving a hard bargain with the Centre on her DA case and the statues case with the help of her 21 MPs. If she supports the Centre, the UPA gets a simple majority of 286.
For the Opposition, one cut motion is being moved by 13 Non-NDA, non-UPA parties which include AIADMK, BJD, SP, RJD, TDP, RLD, LJP, JD(S), INLD, CPI (M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP with a total strength of 89. The Janata Dal Secular, with its three MPs, is also with the Opposition club.
But the Opposition figure goes to 242 with BJP`s 116, 20 of JD-U, two of JMM, 11 from Shiv Sena and four of Akali Dal. The Opposition needs to breach the treasury bench, or else its attempts will prove to be futile.
What is Cut Motion
It is a move where in the ruling alliance or the party’s strength is tested if any Lok Sabha MPs vetoes the Budgetary proposals of the government. After the Budget discussion, demands for grants of individual departments and ministries are taken up. Any member may seek reduction in the amount of the demand by moving a Cut motion. This can turn into an effective tool to test the strength of the government. If a cut motion is adopted by the House and the government does not have the numbers, it is obliged to resign.