K V Prasad, Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 23. The dichotomy in the political approach of the Samajwadi Party (SP) is glaring. On one hand it continues to support the UPA government from the outside and on the other it vehemently opposes the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retailing.
The latest in the series of his steps to keep up the pressure on the ruling coalition is a statement by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav saying that he would support a resolution in Parliament against the FDI in retail which the Trinamool Congress is threatening to move during the winter session.
With 22 MPs, the SP chief knows the crucial nature of support for the survival of the Congress-led UPA coalition. On Saturday, after initially suggesting that a view on the resolution could be taken only when a situation arises, Mulayam later told a TV channel that the party will go with the TMC.
On Friday, the SP Parliamentary Board decided to continue support to the UPA on the grounds that it wants to keep the BJP at bay. The next day, the SP supremo goes to meet Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal that has an alliance with the BJP in Punjab.
Separately, Mulayam’s son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blames the Manmohan Singh government for the ‘economic mess.’ “The people had voted UPA-1 and UPA-2 to power to deliver goods to people and if it failed in doing so who should be held responsible,” Akhilesh said in Mathura on Saturday when asked for his reaction to Prime Minister’s justification in hiking the price of diesel to reduce fiscal deficit. In the same breath, the young SP leader parroted that the party was standing behind the UPA to keep communal forces away from power but is ready for a snap poll.
The SP attitude is anchored in its deep interest of how its moves will impact political fortunes of the party in Uttar Pradesh and is multi-pronged in its approach. One is to deny space to the Congress there, two, is to prevent its political rival the Bahujan Samaj Party any leverage with the Centre, three, not to upset its support base among Muslim-minorities, and finally by straddling with the Left and other secular allies to keep them on its side with an eye on post- 2014 General Election scenario.
Having burnt its fingers in UP following a tie-up with the Rashtriya Kranti Party of Kalyan Singh, the SP chief is wary of taking any step that could be interpreted of moving closer to the BJP and by supporting the Congress, the party is making sure that Mayawati cannot fill the vacuum created by the SP moving against the Central Government.
Mulayam is of the view that the Congress cannot recover lost ground in many states, including in Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat, UP, West Bengal.
See-sawing, SP style
With 22 MPs, Mulayam knows the crucial nature of support for the survival of the Congress-led UPA coalition
Keeping up the pressure on the ruling coalition, Mulayam now says he would support a resolution, which the Trinamool Congress is threatening to move during the winter session, against the FDI in retail
Earlier, he had suggested that a view on the resolution could be taken only when a situation arises
On Friday, the SP Parliamentary Board decided to continue support to the UPA on the grounds that it wants to keep the BJP at bay. The next day, the SP supremo goes to meet Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of the SAD, a BJP ally in Punjab