EVMs failed during Cut Motion in Parliament.
How can the Aam Admi trust these EVMs when they can fail in the temple of Democracy !!!
Cut motions: Some disturbing signs for the UPA govt
BJP should be prepared for Midterm Elections.
The government on Tuesday defeated the cut motions moved by the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party rather decisively, with the scoreboard reading 201 for the opposition and 289 in favour of the government.
But the victory margin looks deceptively victorious. United Progressive Alliance ministers looked and sounded worried when they came out of the Lok Sabha after the vote. They said the UPA is clearly in a minority, and if it had not been for the Bahujan Samaj Party voting for the government, that minority would have been clearly visible on the board.
One of them commented, "This is as close as it could get. The leadership should be more than worried."
'The government had put up a poor show' and the ministers noted that 'the managers would probably have a great deal of explaining to do.'
While the UPA currently stands at 271 MPs, only 268 were present with three absentees, one each from the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamool Congress . Add to that the 21 MPs of Mayawati and the UPA got 289 votes in its favour.
The government was banking on a few independents to come with them, but by all accounts even that did not happen; with even former foreign minister Jaswant Singh , now an unattached MP, voting with the BJP.
Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal with its five MPs also went with the National Democratic Alliance-Left combine, and did not cozy up with the Congress, despite its best efforts.
The Opposition numbers, which should have been 222 according to government calculations, fell short and were reduced to only 201. There were MPs absent from the NDA side as well, though the BJP claimed that all its MPs were present to vote against the government.
Apart from the support from the BSP, what helped the government was the split in the opposition ranks with the two Yadavs -- Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party -- leading their parties in a walkout protesting against the price rise.
As the House assembled at 6 pm for the guillotine to be applied on the demands for grants of the various ministries, the Lok Sabha was packed to the gills with all parties having pulled all the stops to bring in their MPs for a show of strength.
Earlier in the day the three Yadavs -- Lalu, Mulayam and Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav -- held a meeting to discuss the strategy. And by the end of the day, Lalu and Mulayam decided to register their protest against the price rise by speaking in the House and then both walked out. That was 26 MPs less, bringing the strength of the House down.
The general refrain was that the SP and RJD had been 'managed' by the government as part of a deal by which they would not vote against the government, as was equally evident by BSP's action earlier on Tuesday.
Sources say that Mayawati's 'deal with the government' does not stop at the government taking a soft line against her mounting court cases, but something more substantial. It may have to do with the government's green signal to the Greater Noida international airport project, which would be to the tune of Rs 5500 crores.
While the UPA has been keen that GMR infrastructure should build the airport, Mayawati's choice rests with Jayprakash industries, which sources say is 'almost as good as giving it to Mayawati herself.'
But the biggest story to emerge out of the Lok Sabha trial of strength was the manner in which Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi completely ignored each other for one-and-a half hours during their stay in the House. The PM was at his seat, with his hands folded and simply looked sternly ahead, with no one coming upto him and talking to him. Neither did he make any efforts to participate in the animated discussions going on all around him.
Sitting between the PM and Sonia Gandhi was the leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee . Sonia Gandhi and Mukherjee were often seen in animated conversation with each other, with the Congress president turning to him a number of times. But not once did she lean across to put in a simple word to the prime minister. One is not sure if this is accidental or intentional.
On her other side were Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar , Home Minister P Chidambaram and Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee, all of whom were in high spirits and were seen speaking to her, as there were long gaps in the proceedings as the electronic voting machine did not work.
Finally all the cut motions were clubbed together as they were being counted with slips distributed to members. One MP later sarcastically commented on the failed voting machine, saying that the 'the system had failed.'
Some of the other MPs who were noticeably quiet were Praful Patel , the civil aviation minister, who was sitting next to former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh . But Patel sat quietly throughout, without exchanging any banter, obviously deep in thought.
Another MP sitting on Rahul Gandhi's bench right at the end was Shashi Tharoor, who was quiet and distant from the other MPs, and looked grim and unhappy. The normally 'ever-smiling' Tharoor has been looking grim since the day of his resignation and looked totally cut up with the world.
Separated from his other two Yadav friends after their walkout, Sharad Yadav also looked alone and lost.
Pranab Mukherjee, however, said after the voting was over, that it was 'impressive,' and noted that the government would take a call on Wednesday on when they would schedule the vote for the finance bill, with its debate beginning in the House on Wednesday itself.
The UPA has not even completed a year in power and already the ruling combine has slid into a minority. A tactical tie up with Mayawati is only good for one show, and the bonhomie is unlikely to extend beyond that without a suitable price being paid for it.
This was the first show of strength faced by the government in UPA II, and although there was never any real threat to the government, senior party leaders are credited with the view that the signs are not good for the Congress, particularly since the Left has decisively voted with the BJP and against the government.
Renu Mittal in New Delhi