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 the UPA, 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 the SP withdrawing support to the UPA government.
“Why withdraw support and make the government fall when it’s a matter of just eight-nine months,” Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav told CNN-IBN.
His remarks assume significance against the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement on Thursday about the possibility of the SP’s withdrawal of support to the UPA.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement, the BJP claimed that mid-term poll was inevitable as the government has lost the numbers while JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav did not expect Mr. Mulayam Singh yadav to withdraw support.
The SP chief, however, appeared to drop hints of his Prime Ministerial ambitions drawing comparisons between the performance of his party government in Uttar Pradesh and other States including the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.
Listing out development programmes being implemented in 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 whether he wanted to become Prime Minister, he said, “I have never thought of becoming Prime Minister nor am I thinking about it now.”
Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party is extending outside support to the government, maintained that the 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 (the Congress) cheat those who support them,” the SP chief said.
In the midst of talk over the SP’s strategy, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram appeared to woo the party 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.
Mr. Mulayam Singh 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 Thursday on the SP 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.