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Divisions on Mamata plan

New Delhi, Nov. 19: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s drive for a no-confidence motion against the UPA government appeared to spread concern among the Opposition that the Congress may unwittingly walk away with the six-month lifeline.

The CPM today said such a motion now would only help the government cover up all its “wrong” policies, virtually rejecting the Trinamul appeal to all parties for co-operation.

The BJP appeared to be caught in a dilemma. The BJP’s political instincts are suggesting the Congress may cobble together numbers to survive a no-trust motion because few want immediate elections but its heart is looking for options to keep Mamata in good humour for a future revival of ties.

The NDA is expected to discuss the issue tomorrow. The BJP refused to disclose its strategy before that. The Congress said it was prepared to face a motion in the House, which will convene for the winter session on Thursday.

Trinamul sources today said that Mamata had already talked to leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. “We don’t know the details of what transpired between Mamatadi and Sushmaji. But she did ring her up and sought the BJP’s support for our no-confidence motion,” said a Trinamul MP seeking anonymity.

Without naming the BJP, Trinamul MP and former central junior minister Sultan Ahmed said: “Mamata is in touch with the leaders of all the mainline political parties requesting them to support the no-confidence motion”. He said that the Trinamul was “confident” of getting the 50 MPs required to get the no-trust motion admitted.

The CPM was more or less forthright. “A no-confidence motion (in Lok Sabha) will only help the government cover up all wrong measures it has taken and claim parliamentary mandate, as it has the numbers to defeat such a motion,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said in New Delhi.

He said the Left leaders would talk to the Opposition parties urging them not to move such a motion but go in for some other steps to arraign the government on a whole range of issues.

“I hope the Opposition will come to an understanding to put the government in the dock,” Karat said.

In the same vein, his senior party colleague Sitaram Yechury said: “If the no-confidence motion is moved, we would want it to be carried. Otherwise, the government will take it as an endorsement of all its anti-people policies for the rest of its tenure. We don’t want to give such a certificate to the government.”

Noting that a no-confidence motion would “not be issue- specific”, he said the Left-sponsored motion entailing voting, to oppose FDI in multi-brand retail, would be “a much better strategy to defeat the government's move.”