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Special Lok Sabha session on July 21, 22

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STOCKTAKING: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee at a special meeting of the UPA in New Delhi on Friday. —
STOCKTAKING: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee at a special meeting of the UPA in New Delhi on Friday. —

Vinay Kumar

To enable the UPA government to seek vote of confidence

NEW DELHI: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Friday sent a communication to President Pratibha Patil, recommending that a special session of the Lok Sabha be convened on July 21 and 22 to enable it to seek a vote of confidence.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, which met on Friday morning, recommended the dates.

Later, at a meeting, the full Union Cabinet endorsed it. Soon after, the communication was sent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said.

Since the Sixth Lok Sabha, this would be the 11th confidence motion moved by a government, he said.

A session of Parliament would be summoned on July 21, subject to exigencies of government business and it might conclude on July 22, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

At a meeting with Ms. Patil on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his desire to seek a trust vote as early as possible and the date for the special session of the House would be decided on Friday and conveyed to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Cabinet meeting was preceded by a flurry of activity in the ruling coalition camp. There was a meeting of UPA constituents in the morning. It was followed by a meeting of the Congress Working Committee in the evening, where possible dates for the confidence vote were discussed.

In 1999

In 1999, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government lost a trust vote in the Lok Sabha by one vote. The BJP-led government had sought the trust vote following withdrawal of support by Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK.

The political events at that time moved at a fast pace. On April 14, 1999, the AIADMK pulled out from the government, a day before the Parliament session was scheduled to begin, and three days later, on April 17, the Vajpayee-led government lost the motion.

In May 1996, the Vajpayee government resigned before votes were cast at the end of a debate on a motion seeking confidence. The government assumed office on May 16 and resigned on May 28, lasting just 13 days.

The United Front followed this government after securing outside support from the Congress. This government fell on March 19, 1998, after the then Congress president, Sitaram Kesri, withdrew his party’s support.

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