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Lok Sabha rejects no-confidence motion

Josy Joseph in New Delhi | August 20, 2003 00:09 IST
Last Updated: August 20, 2003 00:46 IST

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday rejected the Congress-sponsored no-confidence motion against the National Democratic Alliance government by an overwhelming 126-vote margin. The motion got the support of only 186 members while 312 MPs opposed it.

The opposition pressed for a division after the motion was rejected by a voice vote. The vote took place just after Tuesday midnight. 

"The motion is rejected," Speaker Manohar Joshi announced before adjourning the House till Thursday. The voting came after an over-20-hour debate spread over two days.

Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi had moved the no-confidence motion on Monday morning. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee replied to the opposition's charges on Tuesday night after which Gandhi rounded up the debate.

Both leaders kept their speeches short bringing an end to the proceedings just after midnight.

With no surprises expected in the outcome, the opposition used the discussion to highlight the government's shortcomings while the latter emphasised that it welcomed the opportunity to project its achievements.

Unruly scenes were common and at times threatened to get out of hand, but it was apparent that both sides were merely going through the motions.

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