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Social media filled with rumours of 7 Independents and 3 MPs from smaller parties supporting NDA: Here is the reality

After 7 parties with 1 MPs, including 6 already part of NDA, officially confirmed support to Modi govt, rumours started that 7 independents and 3 other smaller parties have decided to support NDA

As PM Modi-led NDA is set to form the government for the third term with the support of 293 MPs, speculations have risen that more parties, both from INDI Alliance and currently unallied parties, can join the ruling alliance. In this context, a message is being spread on social media claiming that NDA is getting the support of 10 more MPs, including 7 independents and 3 from smaller parties.

While it is possible that some more MPs will extend support to NDA, the possibility of all 7 independents supporting the NDA, and NDA accepting their support, is virtually nil. This is because, the 7 independents include a Kashmiri Separatist, 2 Khalistani separatists and a politician with criminal history.

As OpIndia reported earlier, the 7 independent MPs include two Khalistanis from Punjab, Amritpal Singh and Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa. Pro-Khalistani separatist leader Amritpal Singh is the head of Waris Punjab De, and is currently lodged in Dibrugarh in Assam. He was arrested in April 2023 after a hunt of over a month by Punjab Police and central agencies, and were transported to Assam along with several of his associates. Singh is booked under NSA and other sections of the IPC.

Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa is the son of Beant Singh, convicted of assassinating former PM Indira Gandhi. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, who were the bodyguards of the then Prime Minister, killed Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 at her residence. During the poll campaign, Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa raised the issue of alleged sacrilege incidents in Punjab. Notably, several persons have been killed in the state in recent times on sacrilege incidents.

The third independent MP is Abdul Rashid Sheikh who defeated Omar Abdullah in Baramulla. Sheikh is a Kashmiri separatist leader and currently lodged in Tihar under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Popularly known as Engineer Rashid, he is the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Awami Ittehad Party.

He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency on the charges of terror funding activities in 2019, becoming the first recognised leader to be arrested under UAPA.

Another independent MP is Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, a strongman with a criminal past. He was a member of several parties like RJD, SP etc, and have been a member of parliament for five terms. He is an accused in cases of kidnapping and rioting and has a murder case pending against him in the Supreme Court.

All these 4 independent MPs are unlikely to support NDA. Moreover, it is not sure if Amritpal Singh and Abdul Rashid Sheikh will be able to secure bail to attend parliament. Therefore, there are only 3 independents, Umesh Babubhai Patel, Vishal Prakashbapu Patil and Mohmad Haneefa, who may or may not support NDA.

Among the other parties, which are not part of any of the two alliances, there are some parties which are unlikely to support NDA. This includes parties like YSRCP, AIMIM, and Chandrasekhar Azad from Aazad Samaj Party.

So far, only party which was not part of NDA before polls, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha with 1 MP, has extended support to NDA. This leaves only ruling ZPM in Mizoram with one MP, Shiromani Akali Dal with one MP, and Voice of the People Party (VoTPP) with one MP from Meghalaya, who can support NDA.

Therefore, from others and independents, NDA can get maximum 6 MPs, not 10 as being claimed. However, it is possible for current INDI Alliance partners to switch side and join NDA.

The possible confusion

The rumour of 10 more MPs supporting may have originated from the resolution of support passed by NDA partners at the alliance meeting held at PM Modi’s residence today. All parties which are members of NDA have signed the resolution extending support to the Modi govt. Apart from BJP, TDP, JD(U) and others, this includes 7 parties with one MP each.

These 7 parties are AGP, Apna Dal, AJSU Party, HAM, NCP, SKM and UPPL. Except for SKM, all other parties were already part of the pre-poll National Democratic Alliance, therefore these MPs were already part of 292 NDA MPs. With the addition of SKM, the number has gone up to 293. The news of 7 parties with one 1 MP each supporting NDA may have been misunderstood by someone, leading to the false claim, which was subsequently reshared by many others.

As of now, there is no report of any other party or independent MP supporting the NDA or INDI Alliance.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Raju Das
Raju Das
Corporate Dropout, Freelance Translator

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