New Delhi: Congratulating the UPA on the overwhelming poll verdict in its favour, Samajwadi Party on Saturday said had Congress contested the elections along with it in Uttar Pradesh, their rival BSP would have been wiped out.
“I congratulate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. It would have been better if both parties had contested the elections in UP together. We would have wiped out BSP. The ruling party in UP has become weak, but is still surviving,” SP general secretary Amar Singh said.
He was speaking to reporters at his residence soon after the Prime Minister gave a call to all secular parties to join the UPA in his media interaction earlier.
Asked whether he would respond to the PM’s call, Singh said: “There has been no formal request from the PM as of now. I will not reply to such hypothetical questions. If the Congress leadership makes the first move, then we will decide on it.”
He added that SP’s Parliamentary Board would meet soon to decide upon the future course of action.
To a question whether the fourth front comprising his party, RJD and LJP would survive, especially after the poor show by both the parties in Bihar at the hustings, he said the number of seats do not matter.
“We were together earlier and I will not leave them now also,” he said.
Describing the electoral verdict as a vindication of his party’s decision to support the UPA government on the nuclear deal, Singh, who was accompanied by actor and party general secretary Sanjay Dutt, said that the people have voted in favour of development and progress.
“The poll verdict has proved right our decision to support Congress during the vote of confidence in July last. People have rejected old-fashioned ideology and voted for development and progress,” he said.
On being asked as to why the party managed to win only about 25 seats this time around compared to 39 last time, he said: “We will analyse the reasons behind this and see whether it was due to infighting or our decision to support the UPA from outside. However, Kalyan Singh’s closeness to SP leadership was not the reason at all behind this.”
Expressing happiness at his party’s Rampur sitting MP Jaya Prada retaining her seat, the SP leader said: “Her victory is a slap on the face of those people, who indulged in cheap tactics and those who don’t respect women. I am more happy than Jaya Prada on her victory.”
Singh was indirectly referring to his party colleague Azam Khan’s anti-Jaya Prada campaign in Rampur during the run-up to the elections to the Lok Sabha.