Noting that no party can come to power at the Centre on its own, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today said coalition politics has come to stay in the country and asked like-minded parties to come together.
Samajwadi Party, with 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha, provides crucial outside support to Congress-led UPA-II at Centre and Yadav's statement assumes significance ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"Coalition government is the need of the country as no single party can come to power at Centre on its own strength," he told a public meeting here.
"It is high time that parties, having the common goal to achieve social change, come together as in Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," Yadav said.
Referring to his party organisation, he said, "Samajwadi Party is no more a party of seniors but one comprising youths and women. That is why Akhilesh became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh."
Yadav, who had served as Defence Minister in the United Front coalition government in 1996, linked "growing expenditure" on defence sector to the plight of farmers in the country.
"China which supports farmers and agriculture sector is far ahead of India. Farmers are paying the price for growing expenditure on defence sector, which is the result of not-so-cordial relations of India with neighbours Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. There is dire need to help farmers," he said.
He was speaking at a function to commemorate the first death anniversary of veteran freedom fighter and pioneer of cooperative movement in Maharashtra, Nagnath Anna Naikwadi, at Valva village in the western Maharashtra district.