New Delhi, Jul 19: Congress president Sonia Gandhi met her party MPs at her 10 Janpath residence, asking them to remain united to ensure the UPA Government's victory in the trial of strength in Lok Sabha on July 22.
Ahead of Tuesday's vote, there was intense speculation that four of the five JMM MPs will support the government, but the party chief Shibu Soren has so far kept cards close to his chest, amid speculations that he is bargaining with the Congress demanding that the next Assembly elections in Jharkhand are fought under his leadership.
The JMM, one of the UPA allies, has been unhappy with the Congress, as Soren was not included in the Union Cabinet after being absolved of the murder charge he was earlier facing.
Soren is also said to be demanding that the JMM must be given a Cabinet berth at the Centre. JMM chief whip in Lok Sabha and Giridih MP, Teklal Mahto said: "We are with the UPA. All the party MPs would vote in favour of the government."
The UPA Government believes that it has enough votes to avoid an early general election after securing the backing of the Samajwadi Party (SP). But, political observers feel that the trust vote could turn out to be a close affair.
To win the trust vote, the Government needs to reach the 272-mark in the 545-member strong Lok Sabha.