Samajwadi Party extends support, says UPA will win trust vote


New Delhi : Samajwadi Party leaders Wednesday met President Pratibha Patil to formally extend support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government and voiced confidence that the ruling coalition will win a floor test as it had received support from “unexpected quarters”.

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“We had earlier also given a letter of support to the president, which we have not withdrawn, but there was some misunderstanding. This created a confusion in public mind following the political differences that erupted during the last assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh,” Amar Singh said.

“We found it necessary to give a fresh letter of support to the president. We wanted to reiterate the support of the Samajwadi Party to the Congress-led UPA government,” he told reporters after meeting Patil.

The Samajwadi Party had submitted a letter to the president in 2004 extending outside support to the government. Though the party announced in February 2007 that it was withdrawing its backing, it did not give an official letter to that effect to the president.

On Monday, the Samajwadi Party had declared that it would back the Manmohan Singh government on the India-US nuclear deal and on the floor of the Lok Sabha.

“UPA should not find it difficult to get the numbers. I have no doubt that the government would get the numbers despite everything. Support is coming from unexpected quarters for the government,” Amar Singh said.

He said the National Conference and the People’s Democratic party had made statements supporting the deal saying the deal cannot be communalised.

The support of the Samajwadi Party and its 39 MPs is crucial for the survival of the UPA government that was reduced to a minority Tuesday with the Left withdrawing support over the nuclear deal.

“Advani (BJP chief L.K. Advani), Mayawati (Uttar Pradesh chief minister) and Narendra Modi (Gujarat chief minister). They are a bigger threat than George W. Bush,” he said.

Flanked by party parliamentary leader Ram Gopal Yadav, Amar Singh met the President Patil with a list of MPs who fought under the party symbol and won in 2004.

“The letter lists the names of all those who won the elections on the Samajwadi party symbol. All these MPs will abide by the whip issued by the party,” he said. But he refused to name the MPs amid reports of divisions in the party ranks.

He said Baleshwar Yadav, an independent, had also joined the party.

“He will also be voting for the government,” he said, adding that Beni Prasad Verma and Atiq Ahmed, who have been suspended from the party, would also vote for the government.

“Even if the floor test does not happen, we will support the UPA. And if it happens, we will support the nuclear deal and we will save the government as we want to secure the country from communal forces,” Singh said.

He also denied that the Samajwadi Party was extending support to the government so that cases against him, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan could be dropped.

“There are no cases against any of us. Mulayam Singh Yadav is not involved in any scam or any case,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP also denied that the alliance with the Congress would benefit a corporate house. “We do not do two-faced politics like the BJP.”