NEW DELHI: With Shiv Sena (18 Lok Sabha MPs) and BJD (19) deciding to not take part in the debate on the no-confidence motion, the number game in the Lok Sabha has changed. The effective strength of the Lok Sabha is now 497, down from 534 and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government needs 249 MPs in its favour to defeat the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party and backed by most of the opposition parties including the Congress.
The NDA had 312 MPs but with Shiv Sena out, the number is down to 295 MPs, way above the number required to sail through the no-confidence motion.
According to projections by the BJP's floor managers, the government is also likely to get support from small parties outside the NDA such as Anbumani Ramadoss's PMK and Raju Shetty-led Swabhimani Paksha. Abstention by some opposition parties is also not being ruled out.
The stated strength of the Opposition is 220, including 63 of the Congress-led UPA, 37 of AIADMK, 34 of Trinamool Congress (TMC), 19 of BJD, 16 of TDP and 11 of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). There are 11 vacancies in the 545-member House. The AIADMK has 37 MPs and its abstention during voting is also not being ruled out.
Each party has been allotted time according to the number of existing MPs in the Lok Sabha. While the BJP, with 273 MPs, has 3 hours 33 minutes to speak, Congress was given 38 minutes. For the other parties, the time allotted is as follows: AIADMK - 29 minutes, TMC - 27 minutes, TDP - 13 minutes, TRS - 9 minutes, CPIM - 7 minutes, Samajwadi Party - 6 minutes, Nationalist Congress Party - 6 minutes, Lok Janshakti Party - 5 minutes.
The previous no-trust motion that was moved by the Congress against the AB Vajpayee government in 2003 was defeated.