Amit Shah spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, the AIADMK and the TRS on Thursday.
New Delhi: Hectic efforts are on to form ranks on both sides of the political divide ahead of today's no-confidence motion against the government. Given the NDA's sheer numbers in parliament's lower house, there is little doubt about a comfortable outcome for the government. The big question will be the decision of fence-sitters in view of next year's general elections. Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and Telangana Rashtra Samithi of K Chandrashekar Rao, are likely to vote in favour of the government, sources said, after BJP chief Amit Shah reached out to them. Naveen Patnaik's BJD is likely to abstain.
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The NDA has 314 members in the 533-member house. The majority mark, however, stands at 267 as 11 seats are vacant. The Congress and the other parties that support the no-trust motion have 152 seats.
Indicating that his party will not support the no-trust vote, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami said: "The TDP has moved this motion to highlight issues in Andhra Pradesh. No state supported Tamil Nadu when we stalled proceedings in parliament over Cauvery".
Sources said this morning, BJP chief Amit Shah spoke to the party's crochety ally Shiv Sena, after its leader Sanjay Raut said Uddhav Thackeray will decide which way their 18 lawmakers will vote. For now, the Sena has called a meeting of its lawmakers an hour before the no trust motion is debated. It is at this meeting that the lawmakers would be formally told about the party stand. BJP sources said Sena will back the government.
Amit Shah also reached out to the AIADMK and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, who have 48 lawmakers between them, to vote in favour of the government. Sources said both parties have agreed. Naveen Patnaik's BJD is likely to abstain from voting.
The opposition has made it clear the discussion and not the voting is their objective in this no-trust motion. Asked about the matter, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, however, told NDTV, "Who says we don't have the numbers".
The debate in Lok Sabha will be held from 11 am on Friday. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to speak soon after it starts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be present in the House, will respond to it shortly before the voting is held.
Yesterday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the opposition may have no confidence on PM Modi's government, "but I want to make it absolutely clear that the people of the country have full confidence".
The No-Confidence motion -- an extension of Andhra Pradesh's demand for special status that would involve extensive financial benefits for the state - was moved yesterday.
By evening, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the matter will be taken up on Friday, stunning many opposition leaders who didn't expect it to come up before next week.
The BJP, which was accused of stalling the no-trust move last time, is seen as changing its approach. Sources said it was because the party felt that once the no-trust vote is debated and defeated, the opposition would not have any excuse to disrupt proceedings in parliament.