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  • Left to withdraw support to UPA govt. SP to back it

    New Delhi (PTI): Implementing their threat to pull the rug over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Left parties today announced they would meet the President tomorrow to withdraw support to the UPA government.

    They said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statements on moving the IAEA soon had rendered any further talks on the issue meaningless.

    The four parties -- CPI (M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP -- have sought an appointment with President Pratibha Patil for tomorrow morning to submit their letter of withdrawal of support and to demand that the government proves its majority on the floor of the House.

    "We will also urge the President to ask the government to prove its majority on the floor of the House," a top Left leader said after the hour-long meeting of the four parties which decided to pull the rug to end their four-and-a-half year relationship with the UPA.

    Responding to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's suggestion for another meeting of the UPA-Left Committee on the issue, the General Secretaries of the parties said the meeting, proposed on July 10, had been rendered "meaningless" since the Prime Minister had announced that the government would go to the IAEA Board of Governors very soon.

    "As you are aware, the Left parties had decided that if the government goes to the IAEA Board of Governors, they will withdraw support. In view of the Prime Minister's announcement, that time has come," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters.

    SP promises to vote for govt.

    The Samajwadi Party, whose 39 MPs will have a crucial role in determining survival of the government, on Tuesday said it would vote for the government on the Indo-US nuclear deal to "save" it.

    The SP announced the decision after its Parliamentary Party meeting held here to discuss its stand over the nuclear deal amid reports that some of its Muslim MPs were opposed to the atomic agreement.

    "We will issue a three-line whip asking all MPs who have been elected on the Samajwadi Party symbol to vote in support of the nuclear deal and to save the UPA government," SP General Secretary Amar Singh told reporters after the meeting.

    SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav rubbished reports that Muslim MPs of the party were opposed to the nuclear deal. He later paraded them before a media contingent to prove that they were with the party on the issue.

    "The nuclear deal has been welcomed by Muslims across the state including in Deoband, Saharanpur, Varanasi, Kanpur and Bareilly," Yadav said.

    At least 10 MPs did not attend the meeting. Among them two stayed away for "personal reasons", three are suspended MPs, two are abroad, one in jail while another is in hospital.

    Yadav termed as "figment of imagination" suggestions that the SP was in the race for the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker in case incumbent Somnath Chatterjee resigns.

    He also expressed hope that the Left parties will not side with the "communal forces" in Parliament when the issue of the nuclear deal comes up for discussion.

    "The Indo-US nuclear deal has the backing of scientists, intellectuals and experts," Yadav said, pointing out that the party leadership had consulted former President APJ Abdul Kalam in this regard.


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