SP Parliamentary Board for supporting Cong: signals of dissent also

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (UNI) The Samajwadi Party Parliamentary Board today declared by consensus its support for the nuclear deal and for the UPA Government in Parliament, even as signals emerged after the meeting that there was dissension in the party over the issue and some MPs might violate the party whip in case a no-confidence motion against the government was brought in the Union Legislature.

The possibility of such a motion emerging increased today with the Left finally deciding to withdraw their support to the Government. The Samajwadi Party with 39 MPs will play a crucial role in saving the Manmohan Singh Government.

The party said it will issue a whip to the MPs to vote for the Congress if a no-confidence motion was introduced in Parliament.

A resolution passed by the Parliamentray Board said the threat of communal forces was increasing as the polls were approaching, so there was an urgent need for the secular forces to unite.

Admitting that there were apprehensions among the MPs regarding the deal, SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said all doubts of the legislators had been clarified and they not only signed the resolution in support of the deal but also welcomed it.

Going by the attendance, the SP might have put up a joint front, but some MPs seemed not so happy with the party's stand.

''Boss is always right. What else can I say,'' said one Lok Sabha MP when asked whether he supported the party stand.

There were also indications that some MPs might go against the party whip ''depending on whether and from where they were offered tickets by the BSP''.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Party General Secretray Amar Singh after the Parliamentary Board meeting, Mr Yadav said the board discussed the current political situation and decided that in the prevailing situation voting for the Government was the right strategy.

He, however, said there was no question of joining the Government.

Today's meeting was attended by all MPs except four. Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Reoti Raman Singh and Mr Kirtivardhan could not make it to Delhi due to personal reasons. One MP Jayprakash, whose dissatisfaction with the party is open, also did not attend the meeting. But a senior party leader said he would be contacted.

Mr Atique Ahmad is underground. Three others could not be counted as SP MPs as they have been suspended. They are Mr Beni Prasad Verma, Mr Raj Babbar, and Mr Munawwar Husain. Mr Verma and Mr Babbar are anyway going to vote for the Congress.

The party took special care to underline that all Muslims MPs were in favour of the deal. Pointing to these MPs--Salim Sherwani, Rasheed Masood, Shafiqurrehman Burq and Rubaba Syeda--who occupied prominent places at the press conference--Mr Amar Singh said it was unfortunate that some political parties were trying to give a ''religion'' to the nuclear deal by saying Muslims were against it.

If the deal was in the interest of the country, it was also in the interest of the comunity, he said, adding ''all important Muslim religious centres like Deoband and Saharanpur and also the Barelvi sect have welcomed our stand on the nuclear deal.'' About today's decision of the Left to withdraw support, Mr Singh said,''I am sure their apprehensions will finally be removed, and they would see the danger posed by communal forces.'' MORE UNI NAZ HS KN1604

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