BSP support to UPA govt off, Left demands explanation, BJP sees fall

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New Delhi, Jun 21 (UNI) The embattled Congress-led UPA government, locked in a standoff with the Left over the nuclear deal, today came under further pressure with the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP), which has 19 members in the Lok Sabha, announcing withdrawal of support to it.

The BSP decision was announced by party supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati at a press conference here this evening.

Ms Mayawati, however, categorically ruled out any alliance with the BJP, rumours about which have been doing rounds in political circles of late.

The withdrawal does not pose an immediate threat to the UPA government which is propped up by the 59-member Left parties. The UPA with 237 members in the Lok Sabha is 35 short of simple majority. The Lok Sabha has an effective strength of 543.

She also refused to answer questions in regard to her party's stand on the proposed Indo-US nuclear deal.

She said her party was constrained to part company with the UPA which had miserably failed to check inflation and the rise in prices of essential commodities, especially food items, and was pursuing policies which were not in the interest of the common man, and of her state.

However, she parried a question as to whether she would be supporting a no-confidence motion against the UPA government if brought in by the BJP or the Left in the coming monsoon session of Parliament, saying any decision in this regard would depend on the issue involved in such a motion and whether it was in the interest of the nation and the 'sarva samaj'(all sections of the society).

The UP Chief Minister said the Centre was giving a step-motherly treatment to the state, and made special mention of the rejection of her demand for a Rs 80,000 crore package for the backward Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand regions of the state.

The support withdrawal comes amidst reports of possible rapproachment between the Samajwadi party of her arch rival Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Congress. The two, the political analysts feel, could come together in view of the increasing base of the BSP in the state, and attempts being made by Ms Mayawati to extend it beyond the state.

The relations between the Congress and the BSP had recently hit a new low with Ms Mayawati openly accusing the Congress leadership of conspiring to eliminate her, and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi later launching an all out campaign against the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh.

The Left parties said move would not destabilise the government but maintained that the UPA leadership will have to explain as to why the Bahujan Samaj Party withdrew its support to the government.

The Left parties' guarded reaction came after the newspersons asked them about the political fallout of the BSP's decision, which has further pushed the ruling coalition to the wall.

While CPI general secretary A B Bardhan told UNI from Bhubaneswar on telephone that the BSP's move did not affect the stability of the Centre, CPI(M) senior leader Nilotpal Basu told newspersons here that the government would have to explain why this had happened at a very critical juncture.

''The BSP's decision to withdraw its support will not endanger the government's longevity, as it did not depend on its support,'' said Mr Bardhan, veteran Communist and freedom fighter.

To a specific query, whether inflation touching 11.05 per cent, a 13-year high, coupled with Ms Mayawati's decision to withdraw support, had not weakened the UPA's keenness to execute the Nuclear Deal, the CPI leader said, ''If the government still did so, it will dig its own grave.'' More UNI TEAM AKJ NS1932

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