Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 29. Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav continued to create ripples in the political space on Friday stating that the party found little merit in withdrawing outside support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, but foresaw early polls.
Having set national politics abuzz after predicting the emergence of a Third Front, the SP supremo disputed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh remarks that relations with the Congress have not soured to the extent and the party did not discuss the issue of withdrawing support.
“Now there is no question of SP withdrawing support to the UPA government. Why withdraw support and make the government fall when it’s a matter of just eight-nine months?” Yadav told a TV channel.
The eight-month time span mentioned by Mulayam fits his calculation that the Congress is planning to go in for General Elections in November, which coincides with elections to the assemblies in the Hindi heartland states of Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. General Elections are scheduled to be held in the summer of 2014 when the UPA-2 tenure ends.
On its part, the Bharatiya Janata Party, too, sensed the possibility of early polls and dismissed the Prime Minister’s assertion that his government would complete its five-year tenure.
Party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad also sought to question the SP for continuing to support the Manmohan government and described as “lollipop” Finance Minister P Chidamabaram’s inauguration of 300 bank branches in Uttar Pradesh to keep a difficult ally in good humour.
The SP chief views came on a day when the Trinamool Congress demanded that the Manmohan government resign since it had been reduced to a minority after the exit of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) from the coalition earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Trinamool attempt to move a no confidence motion against the UPA government had failed to materialise as the party could not gather signatures of 50 MPs required for the motion to be admitted in the Lok Sabha.
Political posturing notwithstanding, the CPM said the reason why parties such as Mulayam’s continue to bail out the Congress-led UPA government and talk of a Third Front is on account of pressure from its own political and social base for a change that would provide for some relief from their present miserable conditions of existence.
“Amidst all such speculations concerning political permutations and combinations, the real aspirations of the people do not receive adequate attention… The economic slowdown, the relentless rise in prices of all commodities, the deepening agrarian distress are all combining to mount unprecedented agonies on the people. The people’s cries for relief and a better livelihood find such political expressions of a ‘Third Front’ government,” party MP and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said in the party journal.
CPI leader D Raja said the fact that the Prime Minister mentioned uncertainty underlines the fluidity in the current political situation and saw merit in the speculation of early polls in the country.