Keeping open the option of a post-poll tie up with Congress, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh on Wednesday said his party can support Congress in government formation in Uttar Pradesh to stop “communal” forces if there are signs of BJP coming to power.

Addressing an election rally in Hamirpur, Mr. Singh said, “there is a wave in favour of SP, which is going to form the next government in the state...If I see BJP coming to power, our party can support Congress in the state to prevent communal forces“.

It's premature: Congress

The Congress on its part gave a lukewarm response to Mr. Mulayam’s readiness to support the party in UP after the Assembly polls. Counting of votes is due to be taken up on March six.

The question is “premature and unnecessary at this point of time”, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told reporters in New Delhi in reply to questions on Mr. Mulayam’s remarks and whether the SP was the ‘natural ally’ of Congress.

Noting that the Congress attitude on the issue was going to be “wait and watch”, she said “there has been no pre-poll pact between Congress and the Samajwadi Party. We have not arrived at post-poll scenario as yet. We still have most phases of the polling to be over.”

“I have no authority to rule it in or rule it out”, she said but insisted Congress leaders including its chief Sonia Gandhi have made the party’s stand against any alliance clear.

When a reporter persisted whether the Congress would like to go with Mulayam or BSP chief and UP Chief Minister Mayawati in the post-poll scenario, she sarcasticlly told him that when the time will come, the party will consult him.

Asked whether Mr. Singh’s offer was a virtual admission that his party was not getting majority on its own, she said it seems so.

Nothing new, says BJP

The BJP said it was not surprised at Mr. Mulayam’s stand. .

“It is nothing new...nothing surprising about. One should not forget that UPA government of Manmohan Singh is also being supported by Mulayam Singh Yadav. The letter of support of Yadav lies with the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.