A day after the Samajwadi Party (SP) took to the streets, protesting the government decisions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and diesel price, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday pledged continued outside support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance “to keep communal forces at bay.”

“Why should we take our support back? We have to keep communal forces away from power. But we are not in the UPA,” he shot back when asked if he was considering withdrawal of support to the government on FDI in retail and diesel price hike.

Mr. Yadav’s reassertion of support made the UPA breathe easy and took the sting out of the Trinamool Congress’ withdrawal from the coalition with 19 MPs. The SP’s 22 members in the Lower House, along with the Bahujan Samaj Party’s 21 MPs, ensures the backing of 43 members in a house of 545 members. The BSP also gives outside support to the UPA.

“Our support is clear. We will not let communal forces come to power. That is why I am supporting. I am not in the UPA,” he told journalists.

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