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SLUG: 2-306648 India / Parliament (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=8/19/03

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=INDIA / PARLIAMENT (L-ONLY)

NUMBER=2-306648

BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA

DATELINE=

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: In India, an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the coalition government has been

defeated. Anjana Pasricha has a report from New Delhi.

TEXT: /// ACT OF SPEAKER SAYING AYES 186, NOES 312. NOES HAVE IT ///

At the end of an acrimonious two-day debate, it was an easy victory for the Bharatiya Janata party-led

coalition government. The opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion was defeated by a convincing margin

of more than a 100 votes, with 186 lawmakers voting for the motion, and 312 voting against it.

/// SOUND OF LAWMAKERS SHOUTING ///

Tempers often flared during the discussion, as ruling coalition members angrily rejected opposition charges

of corruption and inefficiency against the government.

The debate was dominated by allegations that defense purchases in recent years have been riddled with

corruption.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee strongly defended his governments performance. He also said the

opposition had failed to back its claims of corruption in defense deals with any evidence.

/// VAJPAYEE IN HINDI, FADE UNDER ///

Mr. Vajpayee expressed surprise that the no-confidence motion was placed when his government was stable, and at a time when the country was making progress on several fronts.

The leader of the main opposition Congress party accused the government of failing to give satisfactory

answers to issues she had raised. Sonia Gandhi had accused the government of weakening national security,

and jeopardizing the country's defenses.

/// GANDHI ACT ///

She said the ruling party had not have given adequate answers to these issues in parliament, but would have

to give an answer to the people of the nation.

Ms. Gandhi was referring to key elections that are to be held in the country. Four states go to the polls later in the year, and general elections are to be held next year.

Political analysts say the Congress party pressed ahead with the no-confidence vote despite facing certain

defeat in a bid to identify future political alliances in these elections.

Commentators also say the debate in parliament has set the stage for the coming polls between the two main

contenders: Mr. Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata Party and Ms. Gandhi's Congress party. (signed)

NEB/AP/RH/KL



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