SP hold out hope for UPA as Left divorce nears

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (UNI) The Left withdrawal of support to the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal seemed imminent today even as the Samajwadi Party (SP) held out hope for the Congress-led coalition to stay afloat.

National Security Adviser M K Narayanan today met SP leaders to brief them about the technicalities of the nuclear deal after which the latter demanded that Prime Minister publicly clarify all doubts about the same.

SP General Secretary Amar Singh said he had raised the doubts expressed by the Left Parties over the Nuke deal and conveyed that the Prime Minister himself come out with a statement either in Parliament or outside to clear all apprehensions about the deal.

The Party would reach any conclusion only after mulling over the issue with other UNPA partners tomorrow.

With 39 MPs in the Lower House, the SP could prove to be a harbinger of relief for the Manmohan Singh government in case the Left effects its threat of withdrawal from the alliance, if the latter went to the IAEA.

SP'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 Jayalalithaa and the MDMK have already walked out of the Alliance.

On the Left front, the CPI today told the TDP that it will do no business with the Congress-led UPA government if it were to go before the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency for finalizing the India-specific safeguards agreement.

The party's line on the controversial nuclear deal was conveyed when TDP Parliamentary Party leader Yerran Naidu called on CPI General Secretary A B Bardan and D Raja at Ajay Bhavan this afternoon.

The Left leaders also called Janata Dal (Secular) President and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda for an ''informal discussion'' on the Deal.

JD(S) Secretary General K Danish Ali said the party was ''totally committed'' to India exercising an independent foreign policy.

The Left parties also claimed they were not isolated on the political scenario.

CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said, ''We are not isolated. The sense of the House obtained in December was against the deal and there is no visible change in the position of any of the political formation that opposed the deal.'' ''Dr Singh will have to decide whether to risk the country's sovereignty, independence, foreign policy and energy security,'' Mr Bardhan and Mr Faizi said.

UNI team AKJ BD1950

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