Clouds of uncertainty continue to shroud the Congress-Samajwadi Party ties, with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav calling the grand old party a “cheat,” even as he asserted that the SP would continue to extend outside support to the UPA government.
He was, however, of the view that the government may itself recommend elections at the end of the year.
In an interview to a TV channel, Mulayam said: “We don’t want the BJP and its allies to bring down the government. Why should we bring the government down?”
Later in the day, Union Finance Minister P Chidamabaram tried his best to soothe frayed nerves by promising all possible help to Uttar Pradesh for undertaking developmental projects. Chidamabaram, who was in Lucknow to inaugurate 300 new branches of public sector banks in the state, made the most of the occasion to reach out to Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav.
“The young chief minister of Uttar Pradesh has started his tenure well. He has understood the size of the problems of the state,” Chidambaram said at a function where Akhilesh Yadav was also present.
“I assure the chief minister and his party president (Mulayam) that the government of India is committed to stand by UP,” he said. His remark assumes significance amid murmurs of dissent among SP leaders over ignoring UP and granting a special package to Bihar. Chidamabaram also denied allegations of discrimination.
“The Centre does not discriminate among states. We want all of them to develop. Obviously the poor states needed to be paid more attention,” he added.
Chidambaram and Akhilesh Yadav reportedly discussed developmental projects for Uttar Pradesh during a meeting early in the morning. “Chidamabaram assured Akhilesh that he would expedite the release of funds for pending projects in the state,” officials said.
Recent actions by Mulayam, like showering encomiums on BJP leader L K Advani and criticising the Centre, have raised a few eyebrows. Speculations are rife that his oscillating stance stems from the fact that he is facing a probe in a disproportionate assets case. He thus keeps mentioning former telecom minister A Raja while referring to the Congress’ treatment of its allies.
“They sent a minister of their ally to jail. That’s why I call the Congress cheat,” Mulayam said. He also seconded Opposition allegations that the Congress was running the government with the help of the CBI and the Income Tax department.
The SP leadership, however, had conflicting views on the fate of the UPA government.