The Prime Minister said his government will defeat the cut motions on Finance Bill. "We are as confident as possible," he told reporters at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed confidence that his government will defeat the cut motions on Finance Bill in Parliament.

"We are as confident as possible," he told reporters at Rashtrapati Bhawan here on the sidelines of defence investiture ceremony.

The BJP-led NDA and a 13-party grouping brought together by the Left parties have separately announced plans to bring cut motions to force government to roll back hike in the prices of petroleum products and fertilizers.

"Of course we are confident," Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was also present at the function, said.

Asked whether the government will be talking to leaders like SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on the issue, Mr Singh said, "we seek the support of all right-thinking people".

The BJP today said it will demand a division of votes on the cut motions to be moved in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. All NDA parties have issued three-line whips to their members to support the cut motions.

"We are moving cut motions against increase in prices of diesel and petrol and a token cut motion against increase in fertilizer prices," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government is confident that the cut motion, if brought, will be defeated.

Asked whether all the parties currently lending their support to the the government will stand with it during the cut motion, Mr Bansal said, "we will have support from all our quarters."

"Governments have never fallen on a cut motion," he said.

Highly placed sources said that talks through backroom channels are on with parties like SP, BSP and RJD -- all of which had given letters of outside support to the government.

"Does any one want election today. Which party or group will push that far to have an election," a senior Congress leader said. Echoing similar views, another party leader also said, "the opposition simply wants to make a statement. None of them want the government to fall".

Asked about the line BSP is expected to take during the cut motion, the leader said, "BSP has not joined non-UPA grouping so far".

The BSP, which has 21 MPs, today said that it will take a decision on issuing a whip tomorrow.

Asked about the numbers the party is trying to notch up tomorrow, the leader said, "number is not an issue. We would be comfortable. There are lot of differences in the other group. There may be a situation in which only the BJP and Left are seen voting together".

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