Desertions in Samajwadi Party on Saturday sent a jolt through a nervous UPA which struggled hard to cobble up 271 in Tuesday's trust vote but the likelihood of cross voting kept the government as well as the opposition on their toes.
The high profile SP general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Shahid Siddiqui, who came in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal ever since the UPA-SP tie up, quit the party and announced his decision to join rival BSP.
"For the last one month, I have been feeling uneasy over the nuclear deal. I am of the opinion that it is not in national interest. I have been opposing it for the last three years," he told reporters with UP Chief Minister Mayawati by his side after a meeting with her.
Siddiqui, also a journalist, said that he was taking this position heeding to the call of his conscience and would oppose the deal to the hilt.
SP, which has a strength of 39 Lok Sabha MPs, is already down to 35 with three rebel MPs -Munawar Hasan, Raj Narain Budholiya and Jai Prakash being joined by SP Baghel.
Though Siddiqui's resignation does not affect Samajwadi Party's numbers in Lok Sabha, it comes as a huge embarrassment to the party that is in the forefront in attempts to muster numbers for the UPA government in the trust vote on Tuesday.
Putting up a brave front, Congress on Saturday ruled out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation ahead of the trust vote, claiming he will sail through smoothly.