UPA, SP hold maiden meeting

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New Delhi, Aug 30 (UNI) The first meeting of the UPA-Samajwadi Party Coordination Committee, which was constituted in the wake of the Manmohan Singh Government winning the July 22 Trust Vote with the support of the SP, was held here today.

The six-member panel's meeting, held at the official 7 Race Course residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was attended by Dr Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A K Antony.

The SP side was represented by its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and general secretary Amar Singh.

The meeting discussed cooperation between the ruling UPA and the SP on several key issues, including the Indo-US Nuclear deal, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The issue regarding the sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha polls had reportedly figured at the meeting.

The issue of accommodating the SP nominees in the government has not figured as there are clear indications that the Samajwadi Party would not join the government, which is left with just eight months before the general elections.

The panel, a replica of the erstwhile UPA-Left Coordination Committee, was constituted in recognition of the role played by the SP to ensure the survival of the Manmohan Singh Government in the July 22 trust vote.

The panel was tasked to ensure smooth coordination between the Congress and the SP, which are likely to forge alliance in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The panel was constituted to keep the SP involved in the affairs of the government while remaining outside it.

The ruling alliance had a similar coordination panel with the Left before they parted company over the nuclear deal on July 9.

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