Political battleground heats up ahead of the crucial vote of confidence

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New Delhi, July 20 : With just two days left for the crucial vote of confidence of ruling Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), political scenario turned into a battleground on Sunday with politicians defecting amidst heavy lobbying in New Delhi.

Chief of Samajwadi Party (SP) Mulayam Singh Yadav denied any rift within his party and claimed that his party is united even as a few Member of Parliament (MPs) from his party decided to desert him.

"There is nothing wrong within our party, there is no rift, we are united, be it the people or the party workers, all are together," said Mulayam Singh.

Mulayam Singh expressed his confidence that the UPA government would bounce back and last its full term. He added that SP had suspended five MPs but despite that his party still enjoys the support of 39 MPs.

"As far as the issue of our support is concerned, we are against the communal forces and we continue to do so. We are doing things that are in favour of the government," added Mulayam Singh.

On the other hand Munawwar Hassan rebel member of Samajwadi Party announced that he, along with 9-10 other MPs of SP have decided to vote against the UPA government.

Munnawar addressed the media after meeting Mayawati, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and party chief of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

"We have made all arrangements for the government to topple over. As we had told you almost ten days back, a group of us, around 9-10 of us are leaving SP and are with Mayawati. The numbers shall be sufficient now," said Hassan.

Meanwhile, Mayawati seems to have emerged as the key player in the political game that is all set to decide not only the fate of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led government but also of the US-India civil nuclear deal.

After a luncheon meeting, she said that the opposition camp is geared up to topple the government.

"We have decided to vote UPA out of power and for the same; we have made a one point program in today's meeting. In the July 222 vote of confidence, we have decided to vote against the government," said Mayawati.

Taking a stand against Mulayam Singh, Mayawati said that he is accusing her party of horse-trading without any proof. She further added that she is not responsible if members of SP voluntarily join her camp.

"Now if SP members voluntarily join us, if they vote against the nuclear deal and vote against the government, what can I do," asked Mayawati.

Amidst all the political drama, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), one of the former communist allies of the UPA who withdrew support leading to the vote of confidence motion in the parliament, reiterated its stand against the nuclear deal.

Prakash Karat, General Secretary of CPI (M) expressed hope that the UPA government will not see the light of the day after June 22, the day slated for the confidence vote.

"We have made up our mind to vote this government out of power on July 22. We do not wish that this government should stay in power after July 22," said Karat.

The hitherto blurred situation should be clear with the outcome of the 'political dinner parties' planned by various top politicians.

The government believes it has enough votes to avoid an early election after securing the backing of the Samajwadi Party, but observers say the trust vote could turn out to be close.

If the government loses, early elections will be called and a civilian nuclear deal with the United States, over which the government's communist allies withdrew support, could be buried.

The government needs to reach the 272 mark in the 543 member Lok Sabha to win the trust vote.

The nuke deal, which has been clouded in controversy but gives India access to the U.S. nuclear fuel and technology, is potentially worth billions of dollars to the U.S. and European nuclear supplier companies and would give India more energy alternatives to drive its development.

ANI

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