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India Votes ’09 | BJD pulls out of NDA ahead of trust vote

India Votes ’09 | BJD pulls out of NDA ahead of trust vote
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First Published: Mon, Mar 09 2009. 11 31 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 09 2009. 11 31 PM IST
Bhubaneswar: Two days after snapping ties with BJP, Orissa’s ruling BJD today pulled out of NDA ahead of Wednesday’s confidence vote in the assembly terming the saffron party’s withdrawal of support to Naveen Patnaik government as an “act of betrayal”.
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“BJD is no more with NDA,” party’s Secretary General Damodar Rout said alleging BJP had “betrayed the trust of the people by demanding the resignation of the chief minister”.
BJD’s walking out of NDA before the trust vote Patnaik has been asked seek by Governor M C Bhandare on the floor of the 147--member assembly came as support from JMM (four MLAs), CPI (1), CPI-M (1) and NCP (2), besides seven independents would be crucial to save the government.
The BJD has 61 members in the House and needs the support of 13 MLAs to reach the majority mark of 74. BJP has 30 members and main opposition Congress 38.
Rout said the people of Orissa had voted for Naveen Patnaik to make him the chief minister but BJP demanded his resignation and imposition of President’s Rule in the state after withdrawing support to the governmet. “It is an act of betrayal.
“We don’t want to leave any doubt in the minds of the people. Now, it is clear that we have no ties with NDA,” a senior BJD leader said.
Besides BJD’s own strength, the list of 76 MLAs submitted by Patnaik during his meeting with the Governor yesterday included the names of four JMM members, one each from CPI and CPI(M) and two from NCP.
This apart, BJD also gained support of seven of the eight independent members.
One more independent member Sambhunath Naik today announced his decision to abstain from voting during the trust vote.
The chief minister had on March 7 announced BJD’s ending 11-year-old association with BJP after seat-sharing talks between the two parties for coming Lok Sabha and assembly polls failed.
Meanwhile, Left parties have invited Patnaik to join the Third Front to install a non-Congress and non-BJP government at the Centre.
Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who had met Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar yesterday to rope in BJD and swell the Third Front’s kitty of friends, told mediapersons in Delhi today that seat-sharing talks with the state’s ruling party has begun and would resume after the trust vote on March 11.
It was only after this, the pre-poll alliance would be firmed up, he said.
After Yechury met the BJD supremo, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan is scheduled to visit the state on March 13 to hold talks with the chief minister.
BJD was a strong constituent of NDA and had backed the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998 and 1999.
The regional party had continued support to NDA when it shifted to the opposition.
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First Published: Mon, Mar 09 2009. 11 31 PM IST
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