Hyderabad: The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh will have to prove its strength tonight.
A no-trust motion has been moved by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS and is being supported by other major opposition parties like the BJP and Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress.
However, the main opposition party, Chandrababu Naidu's TDP, is not in favour of the motion and could rescue the government headed by Kiran Kumar Reddy.
The vote will be preceded by an eight-hour discussion. The Congress needs 143 votes to survive; it has 155 state legislators, but some are considered "rebels" and could vote against the party.
The one-line resolution moving the motion of no-trust against the government does not mention Telangana. Technically, no reasons for moving a no-trust motion are given. But the TDP says that reflects the duplicity of the TRS, which has joined hands with the YSR Congress.
TRS leader KT Rama Rao says Chandrababu Naidu seems to be hoping to win favour with the government. He says if Mr Naidu believes the Congress has no moral authority to continue in power in Andhra Pradesh, as he has been claiming in his padyatras, he should vote against the government.
The TDP chief is on a padyatra. Late on Thursday, he had issued a whip asking his legislators to neither vote for nor against the motion.
The Congress leadership in Andhra Pradesh says the party is confident of defeating the no-confidence motion. The ruling party has a strength of 155 on the floor of the House. Even if a few rebel MLAs cross vote, the government will not fall, unless the TDP changes its mind and there is an exodus of Congress legislators joining the rebel ranks. That seems unlikely.
The Congress is under attack by the pro-Telangana parties in Andhra Pradesh over the indecision by its central leadership on whether to allow state-hood for the region of Telangana. The demand for the bifurcation of the state is led by K Chandrasekhar Rao of the TRS, which has moved the no-trust motion.
He is said to be talking to friendly parties, including the BJP, to try and bring a similar motion of no-confidence against the UPA government in Parliament on Telangana state-hood.