Won't withdraw support to UPA government:
Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Friday ruled out withdrawing
support to the UPA government, saying it was his political
compulsion to keep communal forces at bay. He also
New Delhi: Driven by
the ambition of being the prime ministerial nominee in case a
Third Front comes to the fore after the 2014 general elections, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is pitching to play the
big game with his lofty on-again, off-again expressions of support
designed to keep the ruling UPA coalition on the edge.
As part of a plan to project himself as a national leader, Yadav,
who supports the UPA from outside with his 22 MPs, has been at
various times threatening to pull out, knowing well that his
support has become crucial for the ruling coalition after the exit
of the Trinamool Congress and the DMK in the past six months.
"Mulayam is doing this mainly to strengthen his claim of becoming
the prime ministerial candidate in case there is a Third Front,"
Zoya Hasan, who teaches political science at the Jawaharlal Nehru
University, told IANS.
But Mulayam Singh is also facing personal problems, what with a
Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged corruption -
known as a disproportionate assets case - and keeps blowing hot
and cold to strike the best bargain with the Congress.
"He is working to weaken the Congress. He will keep the UPA on
tenterhooks and try to get financial help from the central
government for UP," Hasan added.
A case in point is the change in the former Uttar Pradeesh chief
minister's anti-Congress stance came on a day when Finance
Minister P. Chidambaram praised his son and UP Chief Minister
Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow and assured him of financial help to
develop the state.
Mulayam Singh termed the Congress "a party of cheats and cleaver
leaders" but quickly toned down his rhetoric saying he won't pull
the rug from under the UPA but kept the pressure on by reiterating
the next general elections would be held earlier than scheduled.
He also said he was supporting the UPA to keep communal forces
(read BJP) at bay and said the SP was the only party which cared
for Muslims after the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992.
For the Congress, there is no end to this political drama.
"The drama will continue. He (Mulayam) is playing the bigger
game," political commentator N. Bhaskara Rao told IANS.
According to Rao, with both the national parties - the Congress
and the Bharatiya Janata Party - finding it difficult to inspire
the voters, there is an opportunity for Mulayam Singh to make a
dent on the national political scene in line with his ambitions.
Also, the other two main contenders for the Third Front's prime
ministerial nominee - Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Tamil
Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithha - are busy managing their
"Mulayam has a lot of time as he is not directly responsible for
running the state. But both Nitish and Jayalalithaa have to manage
their states," said Rao.
According to Rao, Mulayam is also pitching for a national role for
himself as he knows that among other possible contenders,
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is not keeping a
good health, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not in
the reckoning and his bete noir in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj
Party chief Mayawati, is lying low.
According to experts, Mulayam's calculation is to get around half
of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 to have an
upper hand in case a coalition of regional parties is in a
position to form a government at the centre.
"He is pressing for early polls to beat the growing
anti-incumbency in UP, where the law and order situation is a
major concern," said Hasan.
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