Possibility of SP supporting UPA on N-deal gains strength

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New Delhi, Jun 30 (UNI) Speculation about the Samajwadi Party assuring the UPA of its support in the event of the Left parting ways with the ruling alliance over the nuclear deal today gained strength with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promising to go to Parliament after negotiating the safeguards agreement with the IAEA to gets its endorsement.

The SP has 39 MPs in the Lok Sabha while the Left combine has 59 in the 288 of the UPA, a scenario in which the support of the SP would become crucial for the Congress-led ruling Alliance if the communist allies withdrew support, which seems almost a certainty now.

Though the Samajwadi Party is to make its stand official only at the United National Progressive Alliance(UNPA) meeting here on July three, it is believed that it may most probably not go with the Left which is tryng hard to woo it.

SP chief and UNPA chairperson Mulayam Singh Yadav, in fact, gave enough indications about his tilt towards the Congress when he told a TV channel on Sunday that ''No one is an enemy in politics. There may be ideological differences, but this chapter is now closed.'' He said this when asked whether the two parties were taking a ''relook'' at the state of their relations.

The UNPA, which is a combine of seven regional parties, was formed about a year ago in a bid to provide a third alternative. There have been several issues on which the Left and the UNPA have acted in concert, and recently efforts were on for a tie up between the two groupings for the next Lok Sabha polls.

However, the SP seems to be thinking on the line that obtaining the support of the Congress by extending a helping hand in its hour of crisis would pay dividends when it came to Uttar Pradesh, where Ms Mayawati's BSP has emerged as the common foe of both the parties.

The Prime Minister has set a deadline of July 15 to finalise an India-specific nuclear safeguards treaty with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

He is also going later this week to Japan to attend the G-8 summit where he would meet US President George Bush, and it is understood that he would like to take a final decision on the issue before leaving for Tokyo.

Hence, efforts have been intensified by both the Congress and the Left to win over Mr Yadav.

The Prime Minister today said the government had told the Left parties that it would come back to Parliament with the outcome of the negotiations on the Indo-US nuclear deal with the IAEA and the NSG and abide by the sense of the House on the operationalisation of the agreement.

''We will then come back to Parliament and abide by the sense of the House,'' he told journalists on the sidelines of a function at his residence here.

His remarks came a day after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) made it clear yesterday, after a day-long meeting of its Polit Bureau, that it would withdraw support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre if it went ahead with the deal.

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