Cut motions will be defeated, says PM

Voting on money matters is crucial for the ruling coalition as a defeat will mean the government of the day will have to quit. The voting will be taken up at 6 pm on Tuesday. Both Congress and all NDA parties have issued whips for their members to attend the House during the voting. The government needs a minimum of 273 in a House of 545 to cross the  majority mark.

With reports of the 21-member Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supporting the government—or at least abstaining from voting—besides some independents and smaller parties, the government seemed to be sitting pretty. Without the BSP support, and with third front parties such as the  Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Telugu Desam Party and the Janata Dal-Secular identifying with the Left to bring in cut-motions, the government would have faced the prospect of being reduced to a minority.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed confidence that his government will defeat the cut motions as he said on Monday: “We are as confident as possible.”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi remarked: "Of course, we are confident."
 Asked whether the government will be talking to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on the issue, Singh said: “We seek the support of all right-thinking people.” Giving no signs of being under pressure, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal told media persons: “The financial business will be cleared.”

Meanwhile, the BJP said it will demand a division of votes on the cut motions. “We are moving cut motions against increase in prices of diesel and petrol and a token cut motion against increase in fertiliser prices,” Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said. The 13-party combination that includes Left parties has also decided to move cut motions.

The BJP signalled it will go all out to defeat the budget proposals. Its leaders Gopinath Munde and SS Ahluwalia said all NDA MPs, including JMM chief and Jharkhand chief minister Shibu Soren and his colleague Kameshwar Baitha, who is lodged in the jail, will be present in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

What is a cut motion?

When budget proposals are presented before Parliament for approval, a member or a party can question a budgetary allocation in the form of a cut motion. If the motion is carried in the Lok Sabha, it amounts to a vote of no confidence in the government, which is then obliged to quit. A cut motion will be allowed, depending on the Speaker’s ruling, when outstanding demands for grants in respect of the general budget is taken  up. A member can move the cut motion when the Speaker applies ‘guillotine’ on  the demands for grants. 

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