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SP still undecided on support to UPA on N-deal

The Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party seeks to play down criticism by its UNPA partners INLD and TDP for its move to back the Congress on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2008 02:45 PM IST

Samajwadi Party on Saturday made it clear that it has not yet decided on supporting the ruling UPA government on the Indo-US nuclear deal and would take a step only when a no-confidence motion is moved in Parliament.

The Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party also sought to play down criticism by its UNPA partners INLD and TDP for its move to back the Congress claiming nothing had changed from the last meeting of the fledgling Third Front held on Thursday.

"Neither has Congress asked for support nor have we offered our support," Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

He noted that the Left has been threatening the UPA of withdrawal of support on the nuclear deal issue for the past one year but has not done so yet.

"We will decide when the confidence motion is moved in Parliament," Singh said making a strong pitch in favour of the nuclear deal.

The SP leader said eminent scientist and former President APJ Abdul Kalam had told him that the nuclear deal was in the national interest and he had no reason not to believe him.

Singh said that National Security Adviser MK Narayanan had briefed him about the deal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made a public statement that the deal is in national interest.

Contending that the SP was "committed" to the principles of secularism, Singh termed BJP leader LK Advani and communal politics as "more dangerous" than US President George W Bush.

Taking a dig at Left parties, Amar Singh said he "saluted them for making a great sacrifice by supporting arch rival Congress for the last four years."

"My party would not have been capable of such sacrifices," he said claiming that the Congress did not have any significance presence in Uttar Pradesh.

On INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala distancing himself from the SP, Singh claimed that it was the former Haryana chief minister who had suggested that the UNPA seeks Kalam's opinion on the nuclear deal. Chautala rejected Singh's claim.

"I do not know why TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu and Chautala are criticising us. Nothing has changed since the last meeting of the UNPA," Singh said.

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