New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been breathing fire against the government, on Friday said he has no plans now to withdraw support to United Progressive Alliance, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged such a possibility.
“Relations have not soured. I do not know on what basis the Prime Minister made these remarks. Right now withdrawing support has not been discussed in the party. Now there is no question of Samajwadi Party (SP) withdrawing support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
“Why withdraw support and make the government fall when it’s a matter of just eight-nine months,” Yadav told CNN-IBN.
His remarks assume significance against the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement on Thursday about the possibility of SP’s withdrawal of support to UPA.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed that mid-term poll was inevitable as the government has lost the numbers while Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav did not expect Mulayam to withdraw support.
Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.
Listing out development programmes being implemented in the SP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, he asked, “Are such programmes being implemented in Gujarat. So much work is happening in such a populous state like Uttar Pradesh. But everybody’s eyes are closed”.
“A Third Front will emerge. Fronts emerge as per the situation in the country. After 2014, the prime minister will be from the Third Front,” he said.
Asked whether he would head the front, he said, “That will be seen later. Asked if he wanted to become prime minister, he said, “I have never thought of becoming prime minister nor am I thinking about it now.”
Yadav, whose party is extending outside support to the government, maintained that Congress “cheats” those who support it alluding to the 2G case in which DMK minister A Raja was made an accused and sent to jail.
“Karunanidhi has supported the government. His party also participated in the government. But they trapped a minister of his party and sent him to jail. They (Congress) cheat those who support them,” the SP chief said.
In the midst of talk over Samajwadi Party’s strategy, finance minister P. Chidambaram appeared to woo the SP saying the Centre will stand by Uttar Pradesh in its development.
“I want to take this opportunity to assure the chief minister and his team, as well as the president of their party, ‘netaji’ that Government of India is committed to stand by Uttar Pradesh in its development,” he said in Lucknow.
Yadav, however, ruled out the possibility of aligning with the BJP after the next Lok Sabha polls, a statement that comes after his praise of L.K. Advani that triggered speculation.
The Prime Minister’s remarks on Friday on Samajwadi Party stoked a fresh debate on the stability of the government.
BJP MP Balbir Punj asserted, “Government will not complete is full term and mid-term poll is inevitable.”
“Irrespective of what the Prime Minister says, the fact is that there is an atmosphere of instability about the government in the country. This is why you have various people speaking about mid-term elections.
“This government has lost the mandate from the people to rule and now its numbers in the House that is Lok Sabha is also suspect. The country is passing through a phase of complete instability,” he said.
Ruling out the possibility of aligning with the BJP, the Samajwadi Party chief said that while everybody else can join hands with the latter, “SP will never join hands with the BJP. There is no question of it?”
JD-U chief Sharad Yadav dismissed the possibility of SP withdrawing support from the government, saying the SP chief had earlier also expressed similar anger because his vote base is anti-Congress.
“He (Mulayam) is by heart anti-Congress but he is with them for the last nine years in the political situation that emerged. Even now he will not leave them. He is not speaking anything new. He has said all this even in the past. I don’t think he will go to that extent (of withdrawing support),” Yadav, who is also the NDA convener said. Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla rejected the possibility of a mid-term poll, maintaining that elections will take place in 2014 as scheduled. Downplaying the SP chief’s comments, Shukla said differences, if any, would be sorted out as Mulayam Singh Yadav is “our valuable ally”.
Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said that elections will be held in April or May 2014, whenever they are scheduled and that the government will complete its term.
“Let him speak whatever he speaks. After he, too, has to do his politics in Uttar Pradesh. Everybody knows who runs a better government and who does not or who is a cheat and who is not. But before saying who is cheat or not or who carries out development or not, people should see their record.
“Had they been running a good government in Uttar Pradesh, they would have had a record of repeating a government there. No one repeated a government in that state whereas Congress has been repeatedly elected to power in at least two states. Who works better in a state becomes clear when a government is repeated,” Dikshit reminded Yadav.