Samajwadi Party hedges on Third Front

KOLKATA, Sept 13: The Samajwadi Party today appeared to be keeping its options open on post-poll alignments with its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav saying a decision on forming the Third Front of non-Congress, non-BJP parties will be taken only after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Declaring that SP would go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections on its own in Uttar Pradesh and several other states, he spoke in contradicting tones about the possibility of mid-term polls. But he made it clear his party would not not rock the UPA government at the Centre.

“Third Front is always formed after elections after gauging the situation and not not before polls. A decision on forming the Third Front will be taken after seeing the results of the 2014 polls,” SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav told a press conference after the party’s two-day national executive meet here.

Repeatedly asked as to whom the party would prefer as alliance partners—Trinamool Congress or the Left parties, he replied “We have not spoken to any party nor will we speak to any party before the elections.”

The SP had tied up with the Left parties in earlier elections and been with them in the United Front coalition in the mid nineties.

It had teamed up with the the Trinamool Congress headed by Mamata Banerjee before the Presidential elections only to ditch the party by announcing first its support for Pranab Mukherjee.

Asked about SP General Secretary Mohan Singh’s statement yesterday that the seeds of Third Front have already been sown and talks would be held with regional parties, the SP supremo downplayed it.

“What he had meant was that we will keep good relations with other parties,” he said.

Asked whether he foresaw early Lok Sabha polls, he said “As things stand I sometimes feel there could be early elections. But I do not think this will happen. But I cannot say with responsibility what will happen.”

“Our support for Congress is only on one ground—to prevent communal forces from coming to power. If Congress becomes weak, communal forces gain strength,” he said.

Yadav, however, said that both the national parties, Congress and BJP, were ‘becoming weak’ and their policies were ‘confused’.

“SP’s responsibilities have increased as the two major parties have failed to fulfil the wishes of the people.”

Asserting that Samajwadi Party would go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections, Yadav said “Samajwadi Party will contest the election from Uttar Pradesh as also from several other states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand on its own strength.”

To a question on relations with the Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, the SP supremo said “I continue to maintain good relations with her.”

When a correspondent reminded him about the bitterness between them after he ditched her during the July presidential polls, Yadav said “There has never been any bitterness with Mamata and there never will be. I respect the way she works.”

Asked why he did not meet the West Bengal chief minister, he said that his son, Akhilesh, had met her yesterday and they had a good meeting.

Asked about his impressions on Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Yadav said “He is a gentleman. He is doing his work. I have good wishes for him.”

On whether he would like to see Rahul Gandhi as the future PM, he replied, “Is it in my hands?

Reminded about SP leader Mohan Singh’s comment that the future of the country was not safe in the hands of Rahul Gandhi, he said, “Leave what Mohan Singh has said. Listen to what I am saying.”

Asked to comment on speculation on Priyanka Gandhi joining politics, Yadav said “This is a matter of another party. Ask questions relating to my party.”

He said that as a quid pro quo his party would not field a candidate at Rai Bareilly as the Congress had not fielded a nominee against Dimple Yadav, the wife of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, in the byelections for Kannauj parliamentary constituency.  (PTI)


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