The Congress on Monday dismissed Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh’s talk of a Third Front as an “enduring mirage” and conveyed to him that it was ready for polls.

Rashid Alvi, Congress spokesperson, simultaneously made it clear that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will complete its terms and elections will be held as per schedule.

Mr. Alvi refrained from making any direct attack on the SP chief or his brother Ramgopal Yadav for their praise of BJP leader L.K. Advani and the erstwhile National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government but reminded them that the post-Godhra riots had happened during the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led government.

“They [SP] support our government. We do not want to comment on what he [Mr. Singh] said. But we do not agree with their praise of the NDA government. Everybody remembers the statements of Mr. Advani after the demolition of the Babri mosque. Even after this, if the SP praises him, it is their view. We do not agree with them,” Mr. Alvi told reporters here.

He was responding to questions on Mr. Singh’s praise for Mr. Advani and Mr. Ramagopal Yadav’s remarks praising the BJP-led NDA government and attacking the Congress over its “inability” to keep UPA allies together.

“Governments come and go. The Congres is not after power. We do not do the politics of power, but of principles. If any matter of national importance comes, we accord first priority to that,” Mr. Alvi said.

He said the UPA government did not compromise on issues, be it the Indo-U.S.A. nuclear deal, FDI in multi-brand retail or the Sri Lankan Tamil issue; even as the Left parties, which were supporting the UPA I government from outside and UPA II constituents like the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, withdrew support on these issues respectively.

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