Mizoram MP triumphant he abstained in trust vote

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Aizawl, Jul 28 (UNI) Mizoram's lone Lok Sabha member Vanlalzawma is triumphant that he abstained from the July 22 trust vote in Parliament.

Addressing a crowded press conference here today the Mizo National Front MP said, ''Looking back into the cash-for-votes incident in the run-up to the trust vote, I feel triumphant that I abstained from the trust vote. If I had either voted with the NDA or with the UPA, there would have been an impression that I got something from either side.'' Asked if he had been offered money or berth in the Cabinet in return of his vote, Vanlalzawma answered in the affirmative, but ''was not sure if they were UPA supporters or not''.

''Who I believed to be media-persons came and offered me money, but I told them that I could not go against my party's whip,'' the MP said.

Vanlalzawma had received tremendous criticism from his constituency, particularly youths, on his abstention from such a crucial trust vote because the Indo-US nuclear deal is of national interest.

Criticisms against him have been fueled by the fact that another Mizo MP from Bangalore North H T Sangliana had flouted party line and voted for the UPA government. While Sangliana is being hailed as hero in his native state of Mizoram, Vanlalzawma seems to have lost the trust of the people.

Though refusing to comment on Sangliana, Vanlalzawma said that the former had now created an impression that he received money from the Congress and its supporters.

Not only Sangliana, all those MPs who either cross-voted or abstained are suspected to have got something from the UPA government, according to Vanlalzawma.

On his being accused as having 'no principle' for not knowing where to vote despite having gone on record saying that he personally supported the N-deal, Vanlalzawma said, ''I am standing on democratic principle. The trust vote was a national issue and it was not politically correct to go according to my personal principle,'' he said justifying his obedience to the Mizo National Front party whip. However, even if he had been given a free hand, he would still have abstained because of the 'dirty politics' involved in the trust vote.

Confirming Chief Minister Zoramthanga's claims, Vanlalzawma stated that Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar thanked him for his abstention.

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