In the midst of talk over Samajwadi Party withdrawing support to UPA government, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today appeared to woo the party, saying the Centre will stand by Uttar Pradesh in its development.
"I want to take this opportunity to assure the Chief Minister and his team, as well as the president of their party Netaji that Government of India is committed to stand by Uttar Pradesh in its development," he said while inaugurating 300 new bank branches in the state.
Noting that 24 central projects were being implemented in the state worth Rs 18,500 crore, Chidambaram said, "In every way we are committed to helping UP and every other state. He is a young chief minister (Akhilesh Yadav) and I am sure that they will do their best to bring the state up in every single way".
The Finance Minister's statement assumes significance in the context of repeated attacks by SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav against the Congress and UPA government triggering speculation whether it would withdraw support.
While returning from Durban yesterday, the Prime Minister had acknowledged to journalists the possibility of SP's withdrawal of support but expressed confidence of completing the full term.
"Well, obviously coalitions face issues. Sometimes, they give the impression that these arrangements are not not very stable arrangements and I cannot deny that such possibilities don't exist", the Prime Minister had said.
"But I am confident that our government will complete full five years, that the next election to the Lok Sabha will be held on schedule (in 2014)," Singh had said.
The Samajwadi Party has been attacking Congress and the government in the last few days.
Samjawadi Party with 22 MPs and BSP with 21 are providing crucial outside support to the government and bailing it out in times of crisis.Chidambaram also noted that UP has large financial needs.
"This morning the CM and officials sat with me and went over a number of proposals. I promised them that when I get back to Delhi, I would look into each of the proposals.
"In about one or two weeks, we will be able to get an idea where the proposal stand after that I will invite the CM to come and meet us in Delhi," he said.
The Minister said UP's annual plan was rising every year.
"It was Rs 42,000 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 57800 crore in 2012-13. UP is a big state and the more we will be able to spend from planned expenditure, it is good for the state," he said.