Outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has strongly denied having advised or requested Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Amar Singh to ensure his party’s support in the UPA government’s trust vote on the nuclear issue on July 22 last year.
The SP general secretary told reporters that Chatterjee had asked SP to support the UPA government on the nuclear deal, “by forgetting all the acrimony" with that party.
“Before we supported the Congress-led coalition, for four-and-a-half years there were bitter relations between SP and Congress. However, Somnath Da asked me to support the deal for the sake of national interest," Singh said.
Referring to Chatterjee, the SP leader said, "We used to meet often as I respect him a lot. And it was during our meetings with him that he suggested to us that the nuclear deal was in the national interest."
Rubbishing the statement, Chatterjee said that Singh’s statement was "without any foundation or basis".
Regretting that his name was being dragged into a needless controversy, Chatterjee clarified that he had never made any observation at any point of time about the merits or otherwise of the nuclear deal. “There was no occasion for me to offer advise in the matter”, he added.