A proposed nuclear deal between India and the United States has weakened support for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among his communist allies, prompting Singh to ask for a vote of confidence.
The date of the parliamentary vote will be announced on Friday. Singh met President Pratibha Patil after the government’s former communist allies had demanded the vote.
“Dr. Manmohan Singh called on the president today,” said a statement from the president’s office. “He stated that he and his cabinet colleagues are keen to seek a vote of confidence as early as possible.”
Singh’s four-year-old government has secured the backing of the regional Samajwadi Party, but it is unclear if the ruling coalition has enough votes for a parliamentary majority.
A defeat for the government in a confidence vote would trigger an early election, probably destroying chances of the nuclear pact going ahead and sparking political uncertainty as the country struggles with record inflation and rising interest rates.
The government needs several votes from other smaller parties and must hope there is no rebellion within the ranks of the Samajwadi Party against the nuclear deal, which critics say gives the
Indian markets were hit last week by the uncertainty but have since welcomed the communists’ exit. Signs of stability helped prevent sharp losses in the Indian rupee on Thursday.
The nuclear pact’s approval would be a victory for Singh, giving India access to U.S. resources and technology and moving the Asian giant’s trade and diplomatic relations closer to the West as it seeks fuel sources for a booming, trillion-dollar economy.
The IAEA board of governors is expected to meet later this month to consider
Date created : 2008-07-10