U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

According to this article in The Hindu, Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s gambit to push through the U.S.-India nuclear deal could squeak through, but his margin for error is pretty slim. With the Left Party formally announcing its intention to leave the governing coalition, Singh is depending on votes from the Samjwadi Party to survive a vote of confidence he has called for later this month. But the math is tight:

The Left’s decision, though expected, set off a flurry of political maneouverings with the government, which have 230 members in the Lok Sabha without the Left, asserting that it had the required majority of at least 272, the gap being filled by 38 Samajwadi Party MPs plus support from smaller parties such as PDP.

The picture gets even more complicated when you factor in internal divisions within the SP, where it’s rumored that Muslim MP’s in particular won’t toe the party line. The party’s chief dismissed the rumors, but you gotta love this little nugget regarding the SP’s “whip” meeting:

At least 10 MPs did not attend the meeting. Among them two stayed away for “personal reasons”, three are suspended MPs, two are abroad, one in jail while another is in hospital.

I’m not sure how you can count on votes from suspended and jailed MP’s, but then again, I’m not a real expert on Indian politics. By every indication, though, it should be a pretty exciting month ahead in New Delhi.

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