BJP tries to rope in smaller parties
Rajesh Ramachandran in New Delhi
The Bharatiya Janata Party is still trying to get the numbers right for the vote of confidence on March 27-28.
The party and its allies's wafer-thin majority in the Lok Sabha makes the leaders uncomfortable as D-day approaches. As of now, the BJP-led combine has just one more MP -- that is, if the Telugu Desam Party continues to remain 'neutral' -- than the Congress-United Front combine.
The BJP's readiness to accommodate Purno A Sangma as a consensus Speaker candidate clearly indicates the party's nervousness.
To add to the BJP's woes, senior BJP leader Vijayaraje Scindia is unwell and may not attend the Lok Sabha session. So also former Union minister Ghani Khan Choudhary of the Congress.
If the BJP concedes the Speaker's post to Sangma, the
ruling party would have an edge. But Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy has already said that the BJP
cannot take his vote for granted.
Driven by this apprehension, the BJP leadership is trying to rope in smaller parties. The party may also persuade a few friendly members of other parties to abstain on the voting day.
It is learnt that a BJP heavyweight from Maharashtra had approached the Republican Party of India, which has four MPs, for its support. But the RPI reportedly spurned the overtures.
Despite this setback, the BJP is confident of getting the TDP's support. ''I feel that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will soon give us issue-based support," a senior BJP leader from Andhra Pradesh told Rediff On The NeT.
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