'Political compulsions'driving SP to side with Cong:Ajit Singh

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Kochi, Jul 5 (UNI) Asserting that ''political compulsions'' were driving the Samajwadi Party (SP) to side with the Congress on the Indo-US nuclear deal issue, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh today said his party will take a final decision on the matter on July seven.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Singh said the debate was no longer on the merits of the nuclear deal but political considerations that had got embroiled with the issue.

''Now, it is a question of whether you want early elections or not,'' he added.

Mr Singh said his party was in favour of the nuclear deal, but with some reservations. In the long run, it felt that solar and wind energy offered more competitive and environment-friendly options.

The RLD, which has three MPs in the Lok Sabha, was extending outside support to the UPA Government.

However, a final decision on whether to support the government in case of a trust motion in Parliament would be taken at the party meeting on July seven, Mr Singh added.

Responding to BJP president L K Advani's demand that the government seek a trust vote, he said this would be necessary only if the Left parties withdraw their support.

Claiming that ''political compulsions'' were driving SP supremo Mulayam Singh to come to the rescue of the Congress on nuclear deal issue, Mr Singh said the SP was facing the heat from the Uttar Pradesh Government and the Central agencies. This could be the reason why he had decided to side with the Congress.

''Also, none of the parties in Uttar Pradesh want early elections,'' he added.

Rejecting as baseless remarks of BSP president and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that the nuclear deal was ''anti-Muslim,'' Mr Singh said this was not a Hindu-Muslim issue.

''There is a misperception that the deal will pave the way for cooperation only with the US. In fact, it would enable India to have nuclear trade and transfer of technology with all 45 member-countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India has been shut out of nuclear technology for so long. This treaty will be good for the country,'' he added.

On the possibility of a re-alignment with the SP in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Singh said ''no meaningful talks have taken place on this.'' The RLD leader said the farmers had not got a good deal from the UPA Government. The agriculture and fertiliser sectors had been neglected. While Indian farmers got Rs 750 a quintal for wheat, the government imported wheat from the US at Rs 1,600 a quintal.

The fertiliser shortage was also hitting farmers all over the country. ''In Vidarbha region, fertiliser is being distributed from police stations as otherwise there would be riots,'' he said.


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