With speculation rife about Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh joining the United Progressive Alliance government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said on Sunday that a decision would be taken by “netaji” [Mulayam Singh]. The Chief Minister was talking to journalists at Raj Bhavan after a short swearing-in function.

Responding to a query on Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's statement that he had no objection to the Samajwadi Party joining the UPA, Mr. Yadav said Mr. Mulayam Singh would go to Delhi on Monday [to attend the Parliament session] and any decision on this issue would be taken by him.

However, the Chief Minister's senior Cabinet colleague Mohammad Azam Khan brushed aside Mr. Digvijay Singh's statement and said the Congress should stop giving irresponsible statements. Serious issues could not be settled in the media, the Rampur MLA said.

Even as both the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and the senior-most Minister in the Samajwadi Party government chose to be politically correct, there was no gainsaying the fact that the Congress-led UPA was willing to walk a few paces with Mr. Mulayam Singh and the new government in Lucknow.