Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here on Tuesday that he was confident the government would win the trust vote next week with 280 plus votes cast in its favour.

“I will not disclose all my cards now. I will not indulge in the numbers game and tell you any details. But I am confident that we will get 280 plus votes. Everything is positive,” Mr. Ravi told reporters.

He questioned the Left’s claim that it had withdrawn support because anti-imperialism, especially anti-U.S. imperialism, was its basic ideology with which it could not compromise.

He also dismissed the Left’s criticism that the Congress had voted along with the Bharatiya Janata Party against the V.P. Singh government. “The V.P. Singh government came into power with the outside support of the Left and the BJP. We were in the Opposition. We used the first opportunity available — when the BJP withdrew its support to the government — to vote against it. In its entire history the Congress has never had an understanding with the BJP or its precursor the Jana Sangh,” he said.

As for the anti-U.S. imperialism stance, Mr. Ravi pointed out that in 1977 the Communist Party of India (Marxist) opposed the Congress although Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister had signed the historic friendship treaty with the then Soviet Union. “In 1971 she [Indira Gandhi] stood firm when the Americans sent their warships to the Bay of Bengal. After 1971 she abolished the privy purses and nationalised banks, but they [the Left] joined the so-called grand alliance against the Congress.”

His charge against the Left was that even as early as 1967 the Left had joined the then Jana Sangh to set up the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal which formed governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

He pointed out that BJP President Rajnath Singh had already begun talking of “building a Ram temple [on the disputed site in Ayodhya],” if the BJP was to come to power.

As for the CPI(M) overtures to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, Mr. Ravi said “Mayawati and the BJP have set up coalition governments several times in Uttar Pradesh. She can once again go with the BJP.”

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