SP poaches BJP MP, says it now has 36 lawmakers

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New Delhi, Jul 20 (UNI) The Samajwadi Party, reeling under desertion by at least five of its MPs, got a shot in the arm just a night before the introduction of the crucial trust motion when BJP MP from Balrampur Brij Bhushan Saran Singh announced he would join the party.

The party claimed it had 36 MPs with it with the addition of Mr Singh, who announced his decision at a crowded press conference addressed by SP General Secretary Amar Singh at his residence here this evening.

Mr Singh said Mr Brij Bhushan Saran Singh will contest on a SP ticket in the coming elections.

He said many more surprises were in store for the day of vote on the confidence motion.

''The UPA is not doomed, as the Left is saying, but it is booming,'' said the SP leader.

The Balrampur MP said he was in complete disagreement with the BJP's latest posture on the nuclear deal. The move for such a deal was initiated during the term of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and then all BJP leaders had supported it, but it was now very strange that they were opposing it when the Congress wanted to move further on that.

He said the toppling of the Manmohan Singh Government would serve no purpose for the BJP and ''this was admitted by Mr Rajnath Singh himself when I questioned him about it,'' said Mr Singh.

He accused the BJP chief of having no concern for Uttar Pradesh where he belonged to, saying the nuclear deal would solve the problem of power shortage in the state and the whole country.

Earlier, Mr Amar Singh said all the MPs were present on the occasion, though he refused to identify the Lok Sabha Members among them.

He used the occasion to slam the Left point-by-point on all the issues raised by CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat and other Left leaders at a press conference, a few hours earlier.

Terming the Alliance among the UNPA, Left, BSP and some other small regional parties as a 'khichri gathbandhan'( an alliance of motley groups), the SP leader said it was unfortunate that Mr Karat, who claims to be a representative of a progressive party had allied with the forces representated by Ms Mayawati. ''I congratulate Mr Karat for his progressiveness, '' he added in a taunting tone.

Now the Left leaders have been left with no ideology, no movement, he said.

He accused the Left of having conspired against the Samajwadi party to keep it at a distance from the Congress.

UNI NAZ BDP RN2125

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