Hours after meeting PM, Samajwadi Party MP joins BSP

July 19th, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Within hours of a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where he supported the India-US civil nuclear deal, the Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddiqui Saturday announced he was joining the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Siddiqui, who went to meet BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati immediately after coming out of the prime minister’s official residence at 7 Race Course Road, told reporters that he was “feeling suffocated in the party”.

“Since last month, I was feeling suffocated in the party. And I was forced to support the deal. This deal is against the Muslims and India. This deal will make us the slave of the US and lead us to darkness,” said Siddiqui, who was flanked by Mayawati.

“On this nuclear deal, the government must go. I am joining BSP because of my conscience and not because of any underhand dealing,” said Siddiqui, who runs the Urdu daily Nai Duniya.

“I will fight elections under the leadership of behenji (Mayawati),” he announced.

Mayawati also denied there was any deal behind Siddiqui’s decision.

“Siddiqui has joined us on his own after seeing our stand on the nuclear deal. We welcome him,” said a beaming Mayawati.

Siddiqui attended the prime minister’s breakfast meeting with newspaper editors. He had gone to the G8 meet in Japan earlier this month, as a member of the media contingent accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the insistence of party general secretary Amar Singh.

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