'BJP’s base will also shrink; our party will have important role after 2014'

Claiming that the Congress image has taken a beating thanks to various scams, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh on Wednesday asserted that his party would play an important role in government formation at the Centre after the 2014 general elections.

Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day SP national executive here, he urged workers to ensure a good number of seats for the party so that “no government can be formed at the Centre without its support.”

Mr. Singh said: “The Congress is a large party but its confidence is shaken… It has not been able to work for any section of society. There have been so many scams… genuine scams…” In an obvious reference to Sriprakash Jaiswal, Mr. Singh said the Coal Minister allotted coal blocks to his relatives the very day he took charge of the ministry.

Mr. Singh blamed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for poverty, unemployment and the increasing threat along a section of the country’s border.

He blamed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also for the delay in implementation of the Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations to improve the lot of Muslims. “There has been no implementation till now and there will not be any in future. The committees are only an attempt to confuse and fool the people,” he said.

“There is a threat looming large on our borders,” Mr. Singh said referring to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks on the heightened activity of Chinese forces along the border. Mr. Singh said he had raised the issue in Parliament but was surprised at the Prime Minister’s response, who assured him that he would speak to him on the matter. But all that Dr. Singh did was to seek SP support for running the government.

As for the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Uttar Pradesh strongman said its support base would also shrink in future.

But the SP’s political reach would not be limited to the State, he claimed.