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UNPA heading for a split over N-deal

July 05, 2008 15:38 IST

The United National Progressive Alliance on Saturday headed for a split with the Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal and the Asom Gana Parishad distancing itself from the Samajwadi Party's decision to support the government on the India-United States nuclear agreement.

"The Congress has insulted the SP for the third consecutive time, they want to be insulted. It is their own thinking," Chautala told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday.

Chautala's remarks come a day after the Congress clinched a deal with the SP, a key UNPA constituent, for backing the government in the event of Left parties withdrawing support on the nuclear deal issue.

Upset over the SP's decision to go with the Congress, the AGP said that all UNPA constituents would take a collective decision on whether to retain the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party in it or not.

"The SP should have consulted the UNPA constituents before taking a decision to support the nuclear deal," AGP president Brindaban Goswami said.

Chautala said that the INLD is the 'strongest opponent' of the nuclear deal and was worried about 'India becoming a slave of America'.

"When the UPA came to power, these people supported them despite bearing humiliation. They were also running the government in Uttar Pradesh with the support of the Congress," he said. "The Congress has insulted them earlier and will insult them once again".

Chautala claimed that the UNPA would remain stable even after the SP's exit.

"The UNPA has not weakened. We are rock solid. All other allies have talked together and they all have a similar idea. We are against the nuclear deal and oppose Congress. SP's support to nuclear deal is not good either for the party or for the country's interests," he said.

Denying that he had demanded Mulayam's expulsion from the alliance, Chautala said, "He (Mulayam) has left on his own. I am deeply shocked at his decision to support Congress. Mulayam is a good politician and is rooted to the ground. It is not known who got him to commit the mistake," he said.

Chautala did not hide his displeasure on the SP's sudden decision since the UNPA had on July 3 decided to seek expert opinion on the deal to finalise their position.

He also attached no significance to the endorsement of the deal by former president A P J Abdul Kalam when Yadav and SP general secretary Amar Singh met him on July 3.

"Kalam was already a supporter of the deal. So what was the point in consulting him? His name came up in the UNPA meeting, however, I suggested that some renowned scientist should be consulted on the issue. But the SP chose to consult Kalam," he said.

Chautala said the SP chief did not meet him either before or after meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images]. "There has been no talks with Mulayam after the UNPA meeting," he said.

He wondered about how Mulayam decided to support the deal overnight when he was opposing both the deal and the Congress till July 3. "May God give him wisdom. Even if he had to go, he could have told us before," he added.

"We will vote against the government. If the government seeks a trust vote, UNPA will vote against it. Similarly if a no-confidence motion is brought by any other party, the UNPA would support it in the same vein," Chautala said.

He said the UNPA would do what is in the interest of the country. "Any party which opposes the deal and Congress and those who agree with the UNPA ideology are welcome. SP has gone with whom it wished to go. Now we will decide whom to go with."

The INLD chief parried questions about whether the UNPA would go along with the National Democratic Alliance.

TDP, another UNPA constituent, said that the UNPA would continue with the remaining parties. "We will continue as a group with the remaining parties," TDP spokesman and Rajya Sabha member M V Mysoora Reddy told PTI.

Chautala claimed that the nuclear deal would not only lead to the fall of the government but would also mark the end of Congress. He also claimed that the UNPA would form the next government at the Centre.

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