Swaraj questions Govt`s majority claim

Last Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 21:06

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Lok
Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Monday said government`s majority claim was
exposed in the Lower House as it failed to cross the half way
mark of 272 when the amendments to the President`s Address
were put to vote.

"They (government) have been saying- `We have the
number, we have the number`. Mr Prime Minister, where is the
number?" Swaraj said on Twitter.

Talking to reporters, she insisted that the government
had made all efforts to get its allies on board during the
voting on the President`s Address and had even postponed the
exercise from Thursday to Monday but failed to get the
numbers.

"There were 227 votes in favour of the government. It
is 45 less than the majority. The government`s majority claim
has been exposed," Swaraj said.

She maintained that although in his speech Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh assured that Railway Minister Dinesh
Trivedi`s resignation will be forwarded to the President for
acceptance, yet the TMC members did not vote with the
Government and walked out of the House.

"It is for the first time that even Ministers of
alliance partner (TMC) walked out of the House. It is huge
embarrassment for the government. While TMC and BSP joined in
the walkout, SP voted with the government. It is the beginning
of realignment?," Swaraj wondered.

Interestingly, though there was a three-line whip to
all BJP members, some of them were not present during the
division of votes on the President`s speech.

Swaraj has asked her office to find out which BJP MPs
were not present and will enquire about the reasons why these
members could not make it.

"This vote was slated for Thursday. Government got it
delayed as it was trying to muster the numbers. On Thursday,
our members were present almost in full strength then," Swaraj
said.

Some of the MPs could not make it on time from their
constituencies as today is the first working day of the week.

Ananth Kumar and Ananth Kumar Hegde reached late as
their flight from Bangalore was delayed. Among others who were
absent are Deputy Leader of BJP in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde
and Varun Gandhi.

Swaraj maintained that more than the opposition, it is
the government which should have got the numbers as it was a
prestige issue for them.

"Even during the Lokpal Bill constitutional status
vote, the government could not get the numbers," she said.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain charged that the
government`s claim of enjoying a majority has been proved
hollow and it has no right to govern.

"Whenever we have tested this government on the floor
of the House they have failed. Whether it was giving
constitutional status to Lokpal, which was Rahul Gandhi`s
dream, or the vote today," Hussain said.

He said since the states were not in agreement on the
NCTC issue it should not have been put in the President`s
Address till a consensus had been evolved.

Hussain also took jibes at the UPA government for
meting out such treatment to its allies and for "always trying
to insult Mamta Banerjee".

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 21:06

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