Northeast MPs divided over n-deal

July 11th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Agartala/Guwahati, July 11 (IANS) The 24 MPs in the seven northeastern states are a divided lot over the India-US nuclear deal, with some likely to vote in favour of the Congress-led government in any trust vote in parliament. Assam accounts for 14 of the members, followed by two each in Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and one each in Mizoram and Nagaland.

The Congress has the maximum of 11 members followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with four, two each belonging to the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), one each of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Mizo National Front (MNF) and Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) besides two independent members.

Assam’s main opposition AGP has said that it would oppose the nuclear deal and vote against the UPA government in parliament.

“There was a strong public opinion against the UPA government for its failure to check price rise and keeping the country in the dark on the nuclear deal,” said AGP president Brindaban Goswami.

Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha member Vanlalzawma of the ruling MNF told IANS: “I will abide by my party’s decision although I personally feel the India-US nuclear deal is good for India as it would solve the country’s energy problems.”

“It is too early to say whom I shall support in case of a confidence vote although I feel the deal is in the interest of the country as the nation is facing energy crisis,” independent MP Charenamai said by telephone from Imphal.

“Bringing down the government is not a politically correct decision as many programmes of the government are being implemented across the country,” he added.

The ruling Nagaland People’s Front’s lone MP W. Wangyuh said his party was yet to decide on whether to support or oppose the confidence vote.

“We are still in a quandary. I feel the deal is not acceptable in the present form. We would take a decision Saturday,” Wangyuh said from Dimapur.

Wangyuh said though his party (NPF) runs a coalition government in Nagaland with the BJP and other parties, it was a “local arrangement”‘

“NPF is neither with NDA nor with UPA. We are independent at the centre,” he added.

Independent MP from Assam’s Bodo-dominated Kokrajhar constituency, Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary, said “the withdrawal of support by the Left parties to the UPA government was unfortunate and I want the UPA government to last its full term”.

Bwiswmuthiary said though he supported the nuclear deal, he was not happy with the performance of Assam’s Congress government.

Tripura’s CPI-M MPs are of course ranged against the government.

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