23 MPs defied whip

Anita Joshua

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party suffered the maximum number of casualties during Tuesday’s trust vote, with eight of its members defying the whip.

A close runner-up was the Samajwadi Party, which had six rebels.

Records of the vote count accessed from the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Wednesday revealed that 23 members defied the whip of their parties. A sizable majority of the rebels were from the Opposition, and the ruling side accounted for seven including the six from the SP.

Of the eight BJP members who defied the whip to vote against the government, four voted in favour of the motion and four others abstained.

All six SP rebels voted against the government. Though there were doubts about which way Ateeq Ahmed and Afzal Ansari would vote, SP general secretary Amar Singh was confident that they would toe the Congress line at least. In fact, the two were brought from jail for the vote.

Two Janata Dal (United) members defied the whip. Ramswaroop Prasad had decided to vote with the government on Sunday itself and the party’s representative from Lakshadweep, P. P. Koya, did not turn up for the two-day Lok Sabha session.

The remaining “rebels” were equally spread among seven parties: the Congress, the Shiv Sena, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Telugu Desam, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Biju Janata Dal.

While Kuldeep Bishnoi, a Congress rebel, voted against the motion, M. Shivanna (JD-S), A. Narendra (TRS), M. Jagannath (TDP) and Hari Har Swain (BJD) voted for the government. Two others — Tukaram Ganpatrao Renge Patil (Shiv Sena) and Sukhdev Singh Libra (SAD) — abstained in defiance of their party directives to vote out the government.

Contrary to what had been made out by Congress floor managers on Tuesday, TDP’s Audikesavulu D. K. did not defy the party whip.

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