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BSP to back UPA on cut motion: Maya

The UPA government is now expected to have a smooth sailing in Lok Sabha.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The UPA government is expected to have a smooth sailing in Lok Sabha in the trial of strength on cut motion with the 21-member Bahujan Samaj Party on Tuesday throwing its weight behind it.

"We will support the Central government on the issue of cut motion," BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, whose party has 21 MPs, said at a press conference in Lucknow.

"We are supporting the government since the day one to keep the communal forces at bay. At the time of the formation of the UPA government, we gave unconditional outside support and that is there," Mayawati said.

"This is not a new situation. We will support the government on cut motion. In the name of cut motion, communal forces are trying to come back to power at the Centre," she said.

Mayawati said, "Though we should have voted against the government keeping in mind the issues of price rise and inflation, the party does not want communal forces to have an upperhand."

When asked whether the BSP`s decision was influenced by CBI cases against her, she said that the issue of supporting the UPA had nothing to do with it.

"I would like to say that the cases relating to Taj corridor and on assets were lodged during the NDA regime and the UPA was not in the power at that time," she said.

CBI cases were there against her which, she said, they would fight legally.

Mayawati, however, said that her party`s agitation against wrong economic policies of the UPA government and rise in prices of essential commodities would continue. She said her party will also protest the attitude of the government on development in UP.

With BSP`s support, the UPA`s strength in the 543-member House appears clearly more than the half-way mark.

Mayawati’s statement, coupled with signals from 21-member SP that they were against destabilising the Congress-led coalition, was welcome news to the UPA ahead of the cut motion on the demands for grants.

RJD leader Lalu Prasad, who was part of the opposition MPs protesting against price rise, was ambiguous on his party`s strategy on the cut motion.

Asked whether his party has given whip to its members to vote against the government, he shot back, "Whip is issued on whom there is no faith on. How can we distrust our MPs. Now, we are standing on the battlefield. It is to be seen what we do or not do."

The opposition NDA and Left parties are set to move cut motion in the Lok Sabha against the budget proposals to hike prices of fuels and fertilisers.

Most political parties, including members of the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance, issued their respective whips to lawmakers to be present in the Lower House of Parliament when a guillotine -- a procedure that combines all ministry-related demands for grants -- is scheduled around 6.00 pm.

The cut motions, proposed anytime ahead of the guillotine, is expected to call for reducing the budgetary support for the Ministries of Petroleum and Fertilisers by a token Re 1 to lodge dissent and called "disapproval of policy cut" as per parliamentary procedures.

When budget proposals are presented in Parliament for approval, a lawmaker or a party can question specific allocations with a cut motion. If it is carried in the House, it amounts to a vote of no confidence and the government is obliged to quit.

But the treasury is confident of braving the dissent.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said, "We are absolutely confident that all cut motions will be decisively defeated.”

"The financial business will be cleared. There is no problem at all," said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

"Where is the question of feeling threatened," added Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, as his party colleagues claimed they had the clear support of 271 MPs, excluding the BSP, in the 543-member house. The half-way mark is 272.

BSP MPs will vote against the cut motion to be moved by opposition parties.

"We never said we have the numbers. This is a protest against the government`s failure and policies," said CPM’s Gurudas Dasgupta, adding that the main aim was to put pressure on the ruling party -- a indication they had little hope of getting the motions passed.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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