20 undecided votes hold the key to government future

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New Delhi, Jul 17 (UNI) Though the Congress is hopeful of the UPA government sailing through the July 22 trust vote in the Lok Sabha, the votes of 20 MPs who are still "undecided" whether to side with the government or not holds the key to the future of the 50-month-old Manmohan Singh government.

Congress sources today admitted that they had a sure vote of only 261 in a house with effective strength of 542, but were confident that they would be able to win the trust vote in the context of its hope of getting the support of a majority of the undecided votes and a few votes from the rival camp.

They also pointed out that the announcement of a few parties to abstain from voting would also weigh heavily in favour of the government. The majority is determined on the basis of the number of MPs present and voting in Lok Sabha when the trust motion is put to vote.

The 20 undecided votes included those of 3 independent MPs, five of the Jharkhand Mukthi Morcha (JMM), two of the Janata Dal (Secular), three of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, two of the National Conference, four of the Samajwadi Party rebels and former minister Dayanidhi Maran, who had fallen out with the DMK.

A top Congress leader said the NDA and the Left parties would together be able to get only 257 votes with two of the BJP MPs being in hospital.

He was also confident that at least two to three Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MPs would vote with the government.

The 261 votes that the UPA is sure to get include those of Congress (152), RJD (24), DMK (15), NCP - 11, PMK-6, LJP - 4, AIMIM - 1, IUML-1, RPI-1, Samajwadi Party-35, National Loktantrik Party-1, MDMK (Gingee Ramachandran group)-2, TRS-1, PDP-1, Trinamool Congress-1, Independents -four, Mr Raj Babbar and Mr Beni Prasad Varma.

Meanwhile, Congress Party sources hinted that the government would seek dissolution of the Lok Sabha in the event of there being remote possibility for the ruling UPA coalition to survive the trust vote.

UNI SH RP NS1900

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