Divided over deal, UNPA meets in capital tomorrow

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (UNI) The United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), a combine of originally seven regional parties, is meeting here tomorrow against the backdrop of the the increasing evidence of change in stand of its main constituent Samajwadi Party over the Indo-US nuclear deal, which is threatening the Alliance's unity.

The meeting assumes significance in view of the fact that the SP, whose chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is the chairperson of UNPA, has during the past three days given ample hint through its words and actions that it was going to support the Congress, equidistant from which and the BJP was the principle and the ideology on which the Alliance was formed.

The SP, has, however said it would take a final view on the issue only after tomorrow's meeting of the Alliance.

The SP with 39 MPs in the Lok Sabha could come to the rescue of the Manmohan Singh Government in case the Left parted ways with the latter if he went ahead with the safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

S P's softening of attitude towards the Congress over the nuclear deal has already caused some cracks in the UNPA, whose other constituents are the Telugu Desam, the Asom Gana Parishad, the Jharkhand Vimukti Morcha, the Indian National Lokdal and the PMK.

The All-India Anna DMK of Ms jayalalitha a and the MDMK have already walked out of the Alliance.

The UNPA was formed over a year ago as a sort of third front with all the constituents vowing that they would keep equidistant from the Congress and the BJP.

So far, it has also enjoyed the sympathies of the Left which participated in various agitations of the Alliance against the Government.

There was at one time strong possibility of the Left parties joining hands with the UNPA in the next Lok Sabha elections.

However, things have moved fast during the past fortnight with the Congress trying to rope in the SP to its side after the Left threatened of support withdrawal. The Left has also held several meetings with the SP leaders in a bid to convince them of their stand.

The changed political situation in Uttar Pradesh after the coming into power of the SP's arch rival BSP and the latter's ambitions to spread its base to other parts of the country and make a dent in the Muslim, Dalit vote bank of the Congress have brought the two parties closer.

With the BSP firmly entrenched in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav would certainly like to be friends with the party in power at the Centre, and the Congress which fared poorly in the last Assembly elections would not be averse to a tie-up with the SP in the coming Lok Sabha polls as the latter with about 100 seats in the Assembly elections was still a force in Uttar Pradesh.

So in such a situation, the SP may not be very much intersted in sustaining the UNPA which was formed as a third alternative to the Congress and the BJP.

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