Talk of possible mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha grew louder with Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh hinting at its likelihood. Mr. Singh on Friday set a definite agenda for the Akhilesh Yadav government for turning over a new leaf in governance “within six months.”
Simultaneously, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister exhorted party workers and leaders to set the target of winning all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the State. He asked them to work honestly and diligently and make people aware of the SP's policies and programmes.
Mr. Singh had, earlier this week, ruled out the possibility of joining the UPA government. He said that had he wanted to, he would have entered the government earlier. “What is the point of becoming a minister for a year?” he asked. Mr. Singh, however, maintained that the SP would continue giving outside support to the UPA government.
Addressing a “Vichar Sammellan” on the occasion of the 102nd birth anniversary of Samajwadi ideologue, Ram Manohar Lohia, at the Lohia Park in Gomtinagar on Friday, Mr. Singh asked the State government, being led by his son, to show positive results within six months so that the people can feel the difference from the earlier regime.
He said that he would keep a close tab on the functioning of the Samajwadi Party regime. Stating that the election manifesto would be implemented and the promises made to the people fulfilled, Mr. Singh said taking the common man for a ride was akin to betrayal of his aspirations.
Mr. Singh asked the Chief Minister and the Ministers to establish direct contact with people as “all sections of society supported the party in the recent elections.”
The SP chief assured Muslims that the promises made to them would be kept.
Akhilesh Yadav, while thanking the people for electing the Samajwadi Party to power said he would strive to meet the ideals of Dr. Lohia. Even as the Chief Minister assured the people to serve their cause by following the ‘Samajwadi' ideals and philosophy, he attacked the previous regime for its ‘rampant corruption' and criticised it for spending crores of rupees on building parks and erecting statues of living persons. “The SP government will never install statues of living persons,” Mr. Yadav said.
The Chief Minister chose the Lohia birth anniversary celebrations to reverse another decision of the Mayawati government. He restored the ‘dharna sthal' (place where dharna and demonstrations are held) to its old site opposite the Vidhan Bhavan building. The site had been shifted by the previous government first to Shaheed Smarak and then to Jhulelal Park on the banks of the Gomti.