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'SP offered my MP Rs 15 cr to vote for UPA'
Krishnakumar P | July 18, 2008 18:54 IST
As the race to pouch Independents and single-member parties heats up ahead of the July 22 trust vote of the United Progressive Alliance government, Uttar Pradesh-based National Loktantrik Party on Friday alleged that a senior Samajwadi Party leader called his party MP and offered him Rs 15 crore to vote in favour of the government and threatened the party and the member with dire consequences if he does not do so.
"On July 16, we had a press conference to declare that our party MP Baleshwar Yadav will vote against the government. After the conference, at 10.30 pm, a man walked in to meet the MP and handed him a cell phone saying a senior Samajwadi MP wanted to speak to him.
Khan said his party, which had been lending outside support to the United Progressive Alliance, had decided to vote against the government as it was opposed to the Indo-US nuclear deal.
"The government never bothered to reach out to smaller parties like us to clear our doubts. In such a scenario, we see the deal as one that will make India a subordinate ally of the United States. We can't allow India to be subservient to US and Israeli interests," Khan said.
"Either Sonia Gandhi [Images] or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] could have approached us to get our support. But they are not interested in that approach. They, instead think Mulayam Singh Yadav will do the trick for them and has turned him on us. That shows to what level the UPA can stoop," Khan said.
Baleshwar Yadav was with the SP before he switched to the NLP and won his seat from the Padrauna constituency.
Asked whether he had the confidence of his MP, Khan was evasive.
Baleshwar Yadav, who is now is Lucknow, is incommunicado.
Khan, however, leaves scope for the UPA to right the perceived wrong.
His conditions are:
Though he knows the UPA might not agree to these conditions and that he might well lose his MP to Mulayam's might, the July 22 controversy is just the latest episode in the running battle he has had with the SP.
His is a party launched 14 years ago and he has nurtured it in an environment where there is no Muslim political party to cater to Uttar Pradesh's large Muslim population. He has had to always fight the obstacles that the Congress, SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party have thrown in his way.
Observers say it is developing into a formidable power in UP where Muslims have so far been seen only as vote banks. They say this is the party that might politically empower them. Khan also claims Hindu-Muslim unity is a key ideology and points to his MP and MLA, both Hindus.
So, the SP move, which is a short-term attack as well as a roadblock in the run up to the next general election, has doubly angered Khan.
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