In what is considered a significant turn of events, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh has come out in support of his friend-turned-foe Amar Singh, who is being questioned by the Delhi police in the 2008 “cash-for-vote” case, by claiming that he was “framed.”

He told journalists here on Sunday that the party would help Mr. Amar Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member elected on SP ticket, in whatever way possible to “sail through” the “injustice” (the probe against him) being meted out to him.

Mr. Mulayam Singh said the questioning of Mr. Amar Singh was a conspiracy to trouble the latter. “What was the benefit for us? Was the Samajwadi Party included in the government? Were we getting ministers' posts [by supporting the UPA-I government in the vote of confidence motion],” he asked.

“He is being trapped”

“Mr. Amar Singh is being trapped, he is innocent,” he reiterated, adding that, “We only voted to save the government.”

However, the former Chief Minister ruled out the possibility of Mr. Amar Singh — who was expelled by him from the party last year after the relationship between the two nosedived — returning to the Samajwadi Party.

He also supported party member of the Lok Sabha, Rewati Raman Singh, who would be questioned by the Delhi police on Monday in connection with the 2008 MPs' bribe case, stating that there was a conspiracy to trouble him too. “Had money changed hands, I would have known about it.”

“RLD should join SP”

To a question, Mr. Mulayam Singh said the Rashtriya Lok Dal, led by Ajit Singh, should merge his party with the Samajwadi Party. The two parties contested the 2003 Assembly election together.

“We will contest the election [2012] alone in U.P....Mr. Ajit Singh should forgive me for saying this but he is restricted to only three districts...he should merge his party with the SP,” Mr. Mulayam Singh said.

In the 2008 election, the RLD allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party and won 10 seats in the Assembly.

“BJP a lesser evil”

He also hit out at the Congress by claiming that it was adopting “anti-Muslim policies.” The BJP was a “lesser evil” in dealing with minorities. “Whenever the BJP has ruled, Muslims have not been exploited... despite a couple of communal riots, their exploitation has been less.” This was because the SP was strong in Uttar Pradesh. But the Congress was arrogant. “It is not concerned about protests of the SP. But we will tackle it,” he said.