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Suspended BJP MP undecided on trust vote

July 19, 2008 16:50 IST
Last Updated: July 19, 2008 17:29 IST

Suspended Bharatiya Janata Party MP Somabhai Patel is yet to take a decision on which way he will vote during the July 22 trust vote in Lok Sabha.

"The BJP cannot issue a whip to any of its suspended MPs and that is why I am free to take my own decision on the trust vote," he told PTI by phone today.

The MP from Surendranagar said he is being approached by "several influential and powerful forces" to take a decision on the confidence vote, sought by the United Progressive Alliance government after the Left parties withdrew support over the India-US nuclear deal.

"I will take the decision only after reviewing the entire situation," he said.

Patel said he is leaving for Delhi, where he will have consultations with "various groups" before taking a decision on the trust vote.

The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, a key member of the ruling UPA, is in close touch with Patel, sources close to him said.

BJP sources said local party leaders have not contacted Patel and it is up to him to take a decision. Patel and another Lok Sabha MP Vallabh Kathiriya were suspended for 'anti-party' activities ahead of the Gujarat assembly election last December.

Another BJP MP, Babubhai Katara, was suspended for his alleged involvement in a human trafficking case. The MP from Dahod, currently on bail, has said he would follow the BJP whip and vote against the government.

Last week, the BJP revoked the suspension of Kathiriya, the MP from Rajkot, after he tendered an apology.

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