New Delhi, Jul 8: Samajwadi Party, which appears to be struggling to keep its own MPs intact on the issue of supporting the UPA government, on Tuesday claimed that it has the support of seven Bahujan Samajwadi Party MPs.
Addressing a press conference, party general secretary Amar Singh said, "We have the support of seven BSP MPs."
He rubbished reports that SP is heading for a split on issue of supporting the UPA. He said, "About 38 MPs out of the 39 SP MPs will support the government from outside."
Singh said he would give a fresh letter of support for the government to President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday.
"Though we had never withdrawn the support from the government, we will give another letter of support to the President", SP leader Amar Singh said speaking to reporters after a nearly 20-minute meeting with
Congress President Sonia Gandhi following the Left's decision to withdraw support.
He said: "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would get the trust vote and there is no problem for the secular government."
Talking about the stand of Muslims at large on the deal, the SP leader said the party was in touch with the ulemas (Muslim religious leaders) of Saharanpur, Bareilly, Varanasi and Baharaich and all have endorsed
"This is neither a Hindu nor a Muslim deal but a deal of national importance," Singh said and added that Sonia Gandhi has been apprised about the current political situation and the stand of the Muslims.
The view taken in some quarters that Muslims are against the deal is biased and wrong, Singh said adding, "Our senior party leader Azam Khan is in touch with the Deoband school and other leaders are in
touch with Muslim religious leaders."
He said the trio of Narendra Modi, L K Advani and Mayawati are more dangerous than US President George Bush.
Asked about the "deal struck the Congress in lieu of support", the SP leader said there was no deal. "We do not want the post of Speaker or ministers. The Congress will not have any problem with us," said
Questioned on the withdrawal of support by the Left at a crucial juncture, Singh refused to comment against the Left. "I respect the Left leaders and will not say anything against them. They have supported the government for so long."
Referring to the SP parliamentary party meeting earlier in the day, Singh said all important MPs were present.
Barely hours after the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav pledged support to the UPA government over the nuclear deal despite Left's withdrawal of support, party MP from Mohanlalganj Jai Prakash sung a different tune.
Jai Prakash came out openly against the Indo-US nuclear deal claiming that over a dozen party legislators were ready to defy party whip, if needed and would vote against the UPA government.
"The Samajwadi Party leadership has not taken MPs in confidence on the nuclear deal. There are over a dozen MPs with us who will defy party whip, if needed and vote against UPA government," party MP from
Mohanlalganj Jai Prakash told reporters here.
He said over a dozen like-minded MPs against nuclear deal were in touch with him.
"Even some of those MPs who attended the meeting held in New Delhi today are against the deal and are with us," he said.
Last week party MP from Muzaffar Nagar Munawwar Hasan had came out openly against the deal and echoed similar views.
Earlier in the day, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had said his party would vote for the government on the Indo-US nuclear deal to "save" it.
Yadav had also rubbished reports that Muslim MPs of the party were opposed to the deal.
At the briefing, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh had promised the support of all its 39 MPs in the Parliament in the event of a floor test. But over 11 MPs were said to have been absent from the meeting
raising speculations over whether there is a rift within the SP over support to the Congress.
"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 had told reporters after the meeting.