Lucknow, Jul 19: Just 72 hours before the crucial vote of confidence for the survival of the UPA government, Samajwadi Party (SP) today received another jolt when its Jaleshwar MP S P Singh Baghel revolted and announced to vote against the motion in the Lok Sabha.
With the joining of Mr Baghel in the dissident camp, now the strength of the MPs opposing the SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's decision to support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the Indo-US Nuclear deal rose to four. Earlier, Muzaffarnagar MP Munnawar Hussain, Mohanlalganj MP Jaiprakash Rawat and Hamirpur MP Raj Narain Budholia had already announced their opposition to the party leadership.
However, Mr Baghel, who was a very close associate of Mr Yadav, had attended yesterday's party meet at New Delhi.
Announcing his decision to oppose the confidence motion, Mr Baghel told mediapersons at Agra that he will vote against the whip of the party.
''I am totally against the nuke deal and the party leadership did not take us in confidence before announcing support to the UPA government over the issue,'' he said.
Though refusing that his decision to oppose the party's wish was not driven by any move of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mr Baghel said, ''it was my personal decision to oppose the move.'' He said that he attended the meeting of the party MPs at New Delhi yesterday, but did not join the lunch in protest against the support to the nuke deal.
Earlier, other dissident SP MPs also towed the same line as taken by Mr Baghel, saying that the nuke deal was 'anti-Muslim' and their decision had nothing to do with BSP.
However, yesterday Munnawar Hassan had formally joined the BSP in Muzaffarnagar, while BSP announced Jaiprakash Rawat as their official candidate from Hardoi Lok Sabha seat.