SINGH SURVIVED, DEMOCRACY DERANGED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh succeeded in arranging “yes” for American interest in nuke trade in India, but democracy deranged in the dirty process of confidence vote that he had to seek after withdrawal of support by the left parties on the nuke deal issue.

Evidently he organized his survival in power as a few number of lower house MPs who had been constantly opposing him apostatized themselves all on a sudden to his support and a few of the renegades absented themselves to reduce the number-load so that Singh should survive with lesser number of members in his pocket.

When 256 disciplined members consciously voted against him on their respective party lines, Singh bagged 275 votes in his support that included votes of defectors and timeservers even when as many as 10 members including the confused Trinamul Congress chief remained absent.

Had the three BJP MPs who displayed bundles of currency notes worth a crore of rupees in the Lok Sabha received in advance allegedly as bribe to support Singh decided to honor the offer, the number of timeservers in his side might have further increased and Singh might have bagged three more votes, with votes against him reduced by equal numbers.

But the three MPs, as they claim, took a TV channel to confidence and through it captured the venal act and then submitted the video record to the Speaker in his chamber and simultaneously displayed the slush money that Singh side had given them in the Hall of the House in front of everybody present.

The House was speechless, till finally voting time came.

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