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Hyderabad: The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh survived the second no-confidence motion in 16 months early yesterday thanks to a divided opposition. But the result proved the government was technically in a minority.
With the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) remaining neutral and as many as 27 members abstaining, only 58 legislators voted for the motion moved by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Two members were not allowed to vote by the speaker.
In a house with an effective strength of 293 (including a nominated member), 142 members opposed the motion. Thus the Congress has technically been reduced to a minority by not reaching even the half-way mark. The actual strength of the assembly is 295. The voting which took place around 1am after a 15-hour acrimonious debate saw nine legislators of Congress party and seven of TDP violating the party whip and support the motion.
As these legislators switched loyalties to YSR Congress, the strength of the Congress came down from 155 to 146 (four of them could not attend the assembly for various reasons) and TDP’s tally shrunk from 85 to 79.
Opposition leader and TDP chief N. Chandrababu was among the 15 TDP members not present in the house. The TRS (17), YSR Congress (17), Communist Party of India (4), Bharatiya Janata Party (3), Communist Party of India-Marxist (1) and an independent besides 15 rebels of the Congress and TDP voted for the motion.