In a perceived attempt to distance itself from the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party (SP) maintained on Saturday that – if invited – it was willing to discuss the nuclear question with the government.
“We are not the ‘pichlaggu’ (blind adherents) of the Left view on the nuclear issue and if the government is willing to place new facts before us, we are willing to talk,” party general secretary Amar Singh told reporters. He, however, added the Left Front and the Samajwadi Party continued to retain identical positions on the Indo-US nuclear deal and other issues including concerns over price rise. At the same time, he maintained that the Samajwadi Party had an independent stand on the nuclear question.
Emerging out of a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course residence, the SP leader reiterated that his party was pained at not being taken into confidence on the women’s reservation bill by the Left parties. He, however, would not go to the extent of terming the Left attitude as “betrayal”. On his reported comments on the Nandigram issue, Singh said following the exposure of the child racket at Nithari CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat had made a field visit to the area. “The SP will not go to the extent of sending a delegation to Nandigram,” he said. The Prime Minister assured me that the government would attempt to bring about a political consensus on the issue of women’s reservation, he said.