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Confusion over SP MP count continues

The confusion regarding the actual count of MPs in Samajwadi Party continues with the party's MP Rajnarayan Budhaulia also declaring that he would go against the party's whip to vote in favour of the UPA government.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2008 10:21 PM IST

The numbers game regarding the actual count of MPs in Samajwadi Party continued on Friday with the party's Hamirpur MP Rajnarayan Budhaulia also declaring that he would go against the party's whip to vote in favour of the UPA government.

Budhauliya's declaration came in the aftermath of party general secretary Amar Singh's statement on Thursday that of the party's 39 MPs, at least 37 would vote in favour of the UPA on the issue of nuclear deal.

SP's Muzaffarnagar MP Munawwar Hasan has already declared his opposition to the deal, while another MP from Mohanlalganj Jai Prakash Rawat had echoed Hasan's stand last week.

Though the party is confident about getting the desired numbers to help UPA pass muster in case of trust vote, Budhauliya's declaration could disturb the numbers game.

Already, rumour-mongering about other MPs too being against the nuclear deal has spread widely within SP circles.

Party MP from Banda Shyama Charan Gupta's name too was circulated by some leaders as being a possible fence-sitter during the vote.

When contacted by PTI, Gupta rubbished these reports as a conspiracy to malign him.

"I have always been with Mulayam Singh Yadav and will always support him. I will vote with the party. People are spreading rumours to malign my name," he said.

The name of SP MP from Gonda Kirtivardhan Singh, who was not present during SP's Parliamentary party meeting earlier this week, too was being thrown around along with Gupta's, but he declared his loyalty to the party.

"There is no truth in these rumours, I am with the party and will go with the party's whip," he told PTI.

With Budhauliya's opposition to the deal, SP's MP count could come down to 36, though it already has got the support of Independent MP from Padrauna Baleshwar Yadav.

At the same time with smaller parties like Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Deve Gowda's JD(S), and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), choosing to keep their cards close to their chests, the UPA government would still have to wait till the very end to know of their intentions.

Moreover with remaining constituents of UNPA like TDP, Asom Gana Parishad and Jharkhand Vikas Party having announced that they would vote against the government, the numbers game for the government is going to get tricky in coming days.

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