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DATE=4/14/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248062 TITLE=INDIA POLITICS (L) BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: INDIA'S COALITION GOVERNMENT IS TEETERING ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT A KEY COALITION PARTNER IS OFFICIALLY WITHDRAWING ITS SUPPORT. CORRESPONDENT JIM TEEPLE REPORTS FROM NEW DELHI, A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE COULD COME IN PARLIAMENT WITHIN DAYS, BUT INDIA'S EMBATTLED PRIME MINISTER SAYS HE IS CONFIDENT HIS GOVERNMENT WILL SURVIVE. TEXT: IT WAS THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT HAD BEEN ANTICIPATED FOR WEEKS. FORMER MOVIE ACTRESS JAYARAM JAYALALITHA, WHO HEADS A POWERFUL REGIONAL PARTY FROM THE SOUTHERN INDIAN STATE OF TAMIL NADU, SAYS SHE IS PULLING OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE. MS. JAYALITHA CONTROLS 18-SEATS IN PARLIAMENT. THE MOVE EFFECTIVELY STRIPS THE PRIME MINISTER OF HIS MAJORITY. MS. JAYALITHA SAYS SHE DOES NOT BELIEVE HER DECISION TO WITHDRAW SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT WILL RESULT IN EARLY ELECTIONS BECAUSE SHE SAYS SHE IS CONFIDENT SHE AND THE OPPOSITION WILL BE ABLE TO FORM A GOVERNMENT. SHE SAYS SHE WILL SUPPORT A VOTE OF NO-CONFIDENCE AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT WHEN PARLIAMENT RECONVENES THURSDAY. // INSERT ACTUALITY // I AM QUITE CONFIDENT THAT THE OPPOSITION PARTIES WILL SUCCEED IN FORMING A NEW VIABLE GOVERNMENT AND WE WILL SEE TO IT THAT THERE ARE NO MID-TERM POLLS. // END ACTUALITY // // OPT // FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HER WITHDRAWAL, SEVERAL LEADING MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION "CONGRESS PARTY" CALLED FOR PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE TO STEP DOWN, SAYING HIS GOVERNMENT HAD NO AUTHORITY TO REMAIN IN OFFICE. MR. VAJPAYEE IS LEFT WITH ABOUT 254-SEATS, WELL BELOW THE 272-SEATS HE NEEDS TO COMMAND A MAJORITY IN THE 545-SEAT LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT. // END OPT // PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE SAYS HE REMAINS CONFIDENT CALLING JAYARAM JAYALALITHA'S MOVE NOTHING MORE THAN AN ATTEMPT TO DESTABILIZE HIS GOVERNMENT. THE PRIME MINISTER SAYS HE WILL BE ABLE TO STAY IN POWER WITH THE HELP OF SMALLER PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT. K. BALAKRISHNAN THE DIRECTOR OF POLLING FOR "THE TIMES OF INDIA" MEDIA GROUP SAYS MR. VAJPAYEE IS IN A STRONGER POSITION THAN MANY PEOPLE REALIZE. // INSERT ACTUALITY // MANY OF THE OPPOSITION PARTIES, AND EVEN A FORMER ALLY LIKE JAYALALITHA, WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO FALL BUT NO ONE WANTS TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE DOES NOT SEEM FEASIBLE, AND THAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE THAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO EVERYONE AND WHICH CAN COMMAND A MAJORITY. AND ALSO NO ONE, NOT ONE M-P (MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT) FROM ANY PARTY, WANTS TO FACE ELECTIONS AGAIN. // END ACTUALITY // MR. BALAKRISHNAN AND OTHER ANALYSTS SAY EVEN IF NEW ELECTIONS ARE CALLED THERE IS NO INDICATION A STRONGER GOVERNMENT WOULD EMERGE AFTER THE VOTES ARE COUNTED. IF ELECTIONS ARE CALLED IT WILL BE THE THIRD TIME IN FOUR YEARS THAT INDIAN VOTERS GO TO THE POLLS. (SIGNED) NEB/JLT/RAE 14-Apr-99 8:25 AM EDT (1225 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .