Friday, September 21, 2012

Mulayam pledges support to UPA

NEW DELHI, September 21, 2012 (PTI)

The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday pledged to continue support to the UPA government at the centre as it "does not want to let communal forces to come to power."

"Our support is clear. We will not let communal forces come to power. That is why I am supporting. I am not in UPA. But we are supporting so that communal forces do not go ahead," Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters.

Mr. Yadav's statement has come as a big relief to the UPA, whose numbers in the Lok Sabha came down from 273 to 254 after the Trinamool decided to withdraw its support.

With the outside support of SP (22) and BSP (21), the coalition will continue to have the backing of over 300 MPs in the 545-member Lok Sabha. For a simple majority, government needs the support of at least 273 MPs.

Answering a question on whether the SP will be withdrawing support to UPA, Mr. Yadav said, "Why will we take the support back? We have to keep communal forces away from power. But we are not in UPA."

His remarks came a day after he shared dais with leaders of Left, JD(S), BJD and TDP at an anti-government protest during a nationwide bandh against FDI in retail and hike in diesel prices. However, he refused to share the stage with BJP leaders at a nearby protest venue where Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and A B Bardhan were also present.

Asked if he was in favour of mid-term elections, Mr. Yadav shot back, "where is the question of mid-term polls? Ask Congress about this, what they want and whether they want it or (they want to) run the government."

Asked about the government's notification of FDI in multi-brand retail soon after the protests, he said his job was to inform people and his party was not with UPA on this. "We will keep opposing FDI and diesel price hike. We will oppose this in Lok Sabha also as it will hurt five crore people in the country," he said.

Mr. Yadav said it was "meaningless talk" when asked whether his party will join the central government.

To a question on when his party would take a final decision on the issue of support, he said their meetings keep happening and they kept discussing national issues. "We take decisions and follow it. We are already supporting the UPA," he said.

When pointed out that a senior CPI(M) leader has suggested that he lead the Third Front, he said such a front will be formed only after next elections. He said the leader of such a front would be decided later.
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