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The Rediff Interview/Congress spokesperson Veerappa Moily
'The mood in the UPA camp is upbeat'
July 21, 2008
Ahead of the crucial trust vote in Parliament, Veerappa Moily, a close aide of Congress President Sonia Gandhi [Images], feels that the United Progressive Alliance will cruise through the trust vote and that the nuclear deal with the US will be signed without any hurdles.
Moily, a former Karnataka chief minister and Congress spokesperson, spoke to rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa about the chances of the UPA government, the emergence of the third front and the nuclear deal.
Are you still confident that the UPA will sail through the trust vote?
I have always maintained that the issue is being blown out of proportion. There was never any confusion regarding the United Progressive Alliance's majority in Parliament.
How many MPs are there with the UPA at the moment?
We easily have over 280 MPs with us. We have the support of the National Conference now and there will be several others who will vote in favour of the UPA. The mood in the UPA camp is upbeat and we are confident of winning the trust vote on Tuesday.
Aren't you worried that there will be a lot of cross-voting which may lead to the fall of the UPA?
See, all these are speculations by a section of the opposition. The MPs who have pledged their support to the UPA will not let us down. I don't think they will bring down the government by cross voting. That is not a possibility as per our reading.
The weekend saw some hectic activity and it seemed that the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were sidelined by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. What does the Congress think about these developments?
The Congress has not pressed the panic button. About the BJP I do not know, you will need to ask them. We have been following the developments closely and I must say that there has been more hype than action in the Mayawati camp. The Congress is in no way affected by the happenings and also the so called emergence of a third front.
But the Mayawati camp seems to be confident of having the numbers and also the Left says that its one-point agenda is now to topple the UPA. What do you have to say about this?
Can I prevent them from thinking or talking? I can only speak for my party and my party is confident of winning the trust vote. I can only say that Mayawati has been trapped by a non-entity called the United National Progressive Alliance.
There is a lot of opposition to the nuclear deal and the Left has even threatened an agitation if the Dr Manmohan Singh [Images] government goes ahead with the deal. Is there any proposal to put the deal on hold?
The deal will go through at any cost and I for one believe that it is in the interest of the country. There is absolutely no proposal to put the deal on hold. However the government intends to first win the trust vote and then take matters further.
There was a statement by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher the stating that the US will go ahead with the deal even if there is a minority government in power. What do you have to say about this?
First and foremost, there will be no minority government as the UPA will win the trust vote comfortably. Hence the question of going ahead with the deal with a minority government does not arise.
The Rediff Interviews
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