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Nuke support throws up cracks in Mulayam flock
- Unease before meet today

New Delhi, July 2: The unease within a section of the Samajwadi Party on the unacceptability of the nuclear deal in the minority community today erupted at a distance from the capital — in Muzaffarnagar.

Party MP Munawar Hasan was quickly dismissed by fellow partymen, who accused him of hobnobbing with the BSP. But the point had been made on behalf of others who spoke less openly.

Hasan pre-empted the party’s decision tomorrow that may be in favour of the nuclear deal by declaring that the Indo-US agreement is anti-Muslim. As he told reporters he would oppose the deal, it sparked speculation that an unseen split is widening within.

Party MLA Gauri Shanker, from Malihabad, and RLD MLA Kadir Rana, from Muzaffarnagar, supported him.

Hasan claimed he had the backing of 10 MPs who would defy the party whip in case of a trust vote in Parliament.

“Mulayam Singh Yadav was making two deals, first he sent Amar Singh to the US to strike a deal with them on the nuclear agreement and next he is going to cut another deal with the Congress here,” the two-time MP said, alleging the party chief wanted a family member made Union minister.

The coincidence of Hasan’s statement with Amar Singh’s meeting national security adviser M.K. Narayanan this afternoon was not lost on the general secretary. He said his party was trying to keep communal forces — read BJP and BSP — away.

That there were misgivings was evident in Manmohan Singh’s statement where he attempted to clear Amar’s doubts on whether the deal would impinge on India’s relations with Iran.

Abu Asim Azmi, president of the Samajwadis’ Mumbai unit, said: “There is strong resentment among Muslims about the nuclear deal…. SP will remain opposed to the deal. A final decision doesn’t rest just with the SP. We are a part of the UNPA and a decision will be taken at its meeting tomorrow.”

The Samajwadis insisted the minority community would continue to support them. State working president Shivpal Singh Yadav here said: “We don’t have to prove our secular credentials…. Muslims will not believe… Mayavati after they have seen her campaigning for Narendra Modi in the Gujarat polls.”

But several Shia and Sunni clerics, including Muslim Personal Law Board vice-chairman Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, called on the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and thanked her for opposing the deal.

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