Samajwadi Party chief remains noncommittal on PM candidature

The former Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister, N.D. Tiwari, hinted once again on Sunday that Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav was the apt choice for the post of Prime Minister, even as Mr. Yadav himself preferred to keep his cards close to his chest, stating that he was not in the race for the top post.

Calling himself an old “Samajwadi” (he had been was in the Socialist Party in 1952), Mr. Tiwari said: “Mulayam Singh does not need my blessings.” Addressing Mr. Mulayam Singh, he added: Desh ke netritva mein aage badhen aur desh aapke netritva ka laabh utha sake [rise to lead the country so that the nation reaps the advantage of your leadership].”

Along with indirectly supporting Mr. Singh’s “cause,” the veteran Congress leader hinted that he might not be averse to the formation of a Third Front alternative: “It is not the Congress government, but the UPA government, just as it was not the BJP government, but the NDA government. Others can align with the other political groups.” Mr. Tiwari hoped that democratic socialism (Loktantrik Samajwad) would be established in the country.

The Samajwadi Party president responded by stating that he was not a candidate for Prime Ministership. “I was not even a candidate for the post of Chief Minister, but the situation warranted that I take up the post, let us see how the [political] situation unfolds,” Mr. Singh said, indicating he was keeping his options open. The SP chief has been saying in party meetings that neither the UPA nor the NDA will get a majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Mr. Tiwari paid a return visit to Mr. Mulayam Singh’s Vikramaditya Marg residence for a breakfast meeting on Sunday. The two leaders were closeted together for about 45 minutes and later spoke to the press.

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