Cong confident of sailing through no-trust motion

Hyderabad: The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday expressed confidence that there was no threat to the state government from no-confidence motion, which the main opposition Telugu Desam has proposed to table in the assembly session beginning tomorrow.

"They (TDP) have the right to move the no-confidence motion. A debate is necessary on farmers' problems. We can discuss how TDP neglected agriculture during its rule and what we have been doing. We are giving free power, announced a loan waiver, NREGS, etc. They don't have the numbers (for the motion to succeed)," state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana said here.

Asked if the Congress MLAs loyal to Kadapa MP, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, were in touch with him, he pointed out that one of them announced only today that he would support Congress.

Referring to several Jagan-loyalist Congress MLAs and indicating that they would support Congress on no-confidence motion, he made it clear that those who visited Congress party office and supported the leadership of Sonia Gandhi would be recognised as Congress MLAs.

The no-confidence motion might not pose a danger to the government, going by strengths on paper in the 294-member house (effective strength 287 following the resignation of six MLAs and death of another). Congress has support of around 170. However, which way the party MLAs would tilt in the actual vote is a question, as more than 20 legislators who are supposedly in Jagan's camp are sitting on the fence.

They have stated inclination to return to Congress and ensure that the government does not fall.

Merger of the 17-member Praja Rajyam Party and outside support of the seven-member Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has bolstered Congress' position.

On the other hand, TRS, which has 12 MLAs, has vowed to support the no-trust motion.