New Delhi: When the UPA government was facing crisis and struggling to face no-confidence motion in 2008, Samajwadi Party (SP) came to its rescue and voted in favour of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Once again, as the Congress has come under scanner for buying trust votes in 2008,  SP has emerged as a troubleshooter for the party. But, during the entire episode, it wants to stay away from the cash-for-votes controversy.

With Uttar Pradesh elections scheduled for 2012, the SP wants to move cautiously and doesn’t want to tarnish its image.

SP chief Mulayam Singh, on Thursday, said that during the no-confidence vote on the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008, SP had supported the UPA.

“We gave our votes for the motion and the reports of buying votes can malign our image too. There should be a debate over the issue so that everything is clear,” he said.

After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not made any statement regarding the WikiLeaks revelation on cash-for-votes, SP boycotted the session much before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did the same, because they did not want to be seen with the BJP.

Top sources in the SP said that the party is against corruption but didn’t want to put the government in lurch.

“The government has not completed its two years. People demanding the resignation don’t want to sack the government, rather they want to change the Prime Minister,” sources said.

Recently, after the appointment of CVC PJ Thomas was cancelled, unlike the Opposition, the SP did not demand the resignation of Manmohan Singh.