PM, Sonia confident of defeating cut motions

PM Manmohan Singh expressed confidence that his government will defeat the cut motions on Finance Bill.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed confidence that his government will defeat the cut motions on Finance Bill in Parliament.

"We are as confident as possible," he told reporters
at Rashtrapati Bhawan here on the sidelines of defence
investiture ceremony.

The BJP-led NDA and a 13-party grouping brought
together by the Left parties have separately announced plans
to bring cut motions to force government to roll back hike in
the prices of petroleum products and fertilisers.

"Of course we are confident," Congress president
Sonia Gandhi, who was also present at the function, said.

Asked whether the government will be talking to
leaders like SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on the issue,
Singh said, "We seek the support of all right-thinking

BJP today said it will demand a division of votes on
the cut motions to be moved in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. All NDA
parties have issued three-line whips to their members to
support the cut motions.

"We are moving cut motions against increase in prices
of diesel and petrol and a token cut motion against increase
in fertiliser prices," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
Sushma Swaraj said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said
that the government is confident that the cut motion, if brought,
will be defeated.

Asked whether all the parties currently lending their
support to the government will stand with it during the
cut motion, Bansal said, "We will have support from all our

"Governments have never fallen on a cut motion," he

Highly placed sources said that talks through backroom
channels are on with parties like SP, BSP and RJD, all of
which had given letters of outside support to the government.

"Does any one want election today. Which party or
group will push that far to have an election," a senior
Congress leader said. Echoing similar views, another party
leader also said, "The opposition simply wants to make a
statement. None of them want the government to fall."

Asked about the line BSP is expected to take during
the cut motion, the leader said, "BSP has not joined non-UPA
grouping so far."

The BSP, which has 21 MPs, today said that it will
take a decision on issuing a whip tomorrow.

Asked about the numbers, the party is trying to notch
up tomorrow, the leader said, "Number is not an issue. We
would be comfortable. There are a lot of differences in the
other group. There may be a situation in which only the BJP
and Left are seen voting together."