Mulayam backtracks after Chidambaram promises financial support to Uttar Pradesh
After spitting fire on the Congress for two consecutive days, the Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh changed tack on Friday to proclaim that he has no intention of pulling the plug on the UPA government.
Mr. Singh said the Samajwadi Party’s support would continue. Mr. Singh’s decision to call the truce with the Congress came after Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram assured Centre’s help to Uttar Pradesh government.
During his Lucknow visit on Friday in connection with the inauguration of 300 new bank branches in the State, Mr. Chidambaram not only lauded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Mulayam’s son, Akhilesh Yadav for doing well, but also assured the CM and “Netaji” [Mulayam] that the “Centre is committed to stand by the development of U.P.” Mr. Chidambaram also assured Mr. Akhilesh Yadav that he would examine the State’s proposals related to “UP’s financial needs” and invited the Chief Minister to Delhi.
The softening in Mr. Singh’s stand was evident while he was talking to reporters at the SP headquarters within hours of Mr. Chidambaram’s departure from the bank inaugural function. Stating that support to the Congress-led UPA Government was given to keep “the communal forces out of power”, the SP chief nevertheless reiterated that his support was conditional. He did not slack off from attacking the Congress. “If the support is withdrawn the Congress will make it an issue”, the Samajwadi chief stated. Mr. Singh said the Congress strikes fear to garner support, but it should not be trusted. Those who have helped Congress in the past have been deceived. The Congress (UPA) Government is a “government of scandals”, he added.
Unlike on Thursday when Mr. Singh was predicting a sure shot victory for the Third Front in the next elections, he said on Friday: “The Third Front will be decided after the election.” However, Mr. Singh said a government of the “third force” (“teesri taqat”) would be formed. While opting out of the race for the next Prime Minister, he nonetheless said that the SP would play a crucial role in the formation of the next Government at the Centre.
‘No support to Advani’
Even as he reiterated the secular credentials of the SP, Mr. Singh sought to draw a line with the Bharatiya Janata Party and L. K. Advani.
“I have never supported and will never support Mr. Advani, or the BJP, and have always opposed Atal Behari Vajpayee and Mr. Advani’s stand on Kashmir, Ayodhya and Muslims,” Mr. Singh said. He added that the SP has always opposed the BJP and accused the Congress of being an onlooker when it came to communal politics.