UNPA rift over N deal is open; SP says ready to say good bye

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New Delhi, Jul 5 (UNI) The Samajwadi Party today openly came out in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal making it clear that it was ready to bid good bye to the UNPA for '' the sake of the good of the country,'' a move which the Left parties described as ''a betrayal of the concept of the Third Front''.

The BJP, meanwhile, reaffirmed its opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal in its present form and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately convene a session of Parliament and seek a vote of confidence as his government was reduced to a minority with the Left parties deadline to pull out.

The government must obtain Parliament's approval before going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal, senior BJP leaders and the Leaders of Opposition in two Houses of Parliament L K Advani and Jaswant Singh asserted while pointing towards the statements of the government that it intended to go ahead with the discussions with the Board of Governors of the IAEA and subsequently with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

The Congress ridiculed the BJP for demanding a vote of confidence in Parliament on the nuclear deal, saying the government was stable and that no supporting party has withdrawn its backing.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said the party also criticised the BJP for making ''such a irresponsible statement'' at a time when the Prime Minister was leaving the country for the G-8 summit meet in Japan.

SP General Secretary Amar Singh said, ''We are ready to sacrifice anything for the good of the country,'' when asked about INLD president Om Prakash Chautala's condemnation of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav's stand over the deal.

''After endorsement of the deal by former President A P J Abdul Kalam, it was not a question of support to Ms Gandhi or Dr Manmohan Singh, but of what was in the interest of the country,'' Mr Singh said.

Mr Chautala said ''Going by the decision of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, it seems the party is out of the UNPA, but the alliance is intact and firm like a rock''. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is among the founding members of the UNPA.

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