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N-deal: Realignment of forces on the cards

July 02, 2008 02:49 IST

Political realignment over Indo-US nuclear deal appears on the cards as Congress makes hectic efforts to reach out to new parties, including Samajwadi Party, to bail out the United Progressive Alliance government in the event of withdrawal of support by Left parties.

'The people of India are for nuclear deal'

Samajwadi Party, which has 39 members in Lok Sabha, is gradually becoming a foe-turned-friend for Congress, which seeks to extend the lifeline of the coalition government headed by it if the Left pulls the plug.

Rashtriya Lok Dal Chief Ajit Singh, whose party has three members in the Lok Sabha, has already had a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] and H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal-Secular is also being seen as an ally by the ruling party.

View: Dr Singh, lead or leave

UPA sources say Samajwadi Party has been driving a hard bargain but SP leaders are coy about any 'deal' with Congress on the nuclear deal.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, government's pointsman on the deal, had a meeting with Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar [Images] on Tuesday, after which the two leaders left for foreign tours -- Mukherjee to Egypt and Pawar to Dubai.

'N-deal will affect Muslim votes'

While Left leaders are chalking out the strategy on July four, a section of UPA leaders are advising against angering the key outside supporters in view of the feeling that their help would also be needed after next Lok Sabha elections.

This section feels that the next meeting of UPA-Left committee could be held anytime between July 12 to 15.

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