Mulayam says no to joining UPA government

Mulayam says no to joining UPA government

Mulayam says no to joining UPA government

Scotching speculations, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday categorically dismissed reports that his party was going to join the United Progressive Alliance government at the centre.

Amidst growing rumours that the party had "worked out a political arrangement" with the Congress on a "quid pro quo" basis, the SP chief held a press conference and laid to rest all speculation in this regard.

"There is no request from the Congress to join the government, neither is there any request from our side," the Yadav chieftain said, and added in the same breath that there was no point in doing so for just a year or so. "Ab ek aadh saal ke liye ye karna uchit nahin hai (It would be a wasteful exercise to do anything like this for a year or so)," he said and made it clear, however, that the party would continue to support the Congress-led UPA government at the centre.

"The party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav had categorically said this yesterday (Sunday) and I repeat it: our support to the Manmohan Singh government would continue," he added. He, however, underlined that the party support came "despite differences on political approach and economic policies". "We are only supporting the Congress at the centre to avoid a take over by the communal forces," he added.

With regard to formation of a Third Front, Mulayam Singh said there were no discussions on this and pointed out that for any such formation "serious thought and action was necessary". This, he later told IANS was of no consequence as of now. "We are a powerful force to reckon with, a party which has not compromised on its secular credentials and has checked the forward march of communal forces always," he mused while pointing out that his party candidates had won in communal hotbeds like Ayodhya.

"It is, therefore, nothing unnatural to aspire for a prominent role at the centre," he added.

"I have told party workers that they need to act responsibly and win 80 seats in the Lok Sabha to see the Samajwadi Party bicycle (party symbol) zip through on streets of Delhi," he told IANS.

Speculation had been rife in New Delhi that the SP might hitch on to the UPA bandwagon in the wake of the tough posturing and veiled threats by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee of pulling the plug on the UPA regime.