The possibility of Mulayam Singh Yadav meeting with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and wooing her for a proposed Third Front seems remote, though he praised Banerjee along with Jyoti Basu as the two good chief ministers Bengal saw. He also lambasted the UPA alleging it has no direction.
Mulayam and son Akhilesh arrived in Kolkata on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit to attend the national executive committee meeting of Samajwadi Party in the city. The 2014 Lok Sabha polls are likely to dominate the agenda.
Keeping the Lok Sabha polls in mind Samajwadi party chief Yadav and son Akhilesh are set to chalk out its strategy and party’s role in the Third Front at its national conference in Kolkata.
“We are against their (UPA’s) policies which they must correct. That is the role of the opposition and we are fulfilling it,” said Mulayam on the sidelines of a welcoming party organised at a city club in the evening.
“You can see there is no clear policy and we don’t know where they want to take the country. We sit everyday in the Lok Sabha. We are in touch with the government, but there is no direction,” he said.
“Bengal has seen two good chief ministers. One is late Jyoti Basu and another is Mamata Banerjee. Both of them came to power after years of struggle and emerged as able leaders state,” he said.
Both Mulayam and Banerjee came closer than ever before on June 14 this year when they jointly rejected Pranab Mukherjee as the presidential candidate and forwarded three fresh names. However, Mulayam did a vote-face shortly after siding up with Congress and leaving Banerjee in the lurch. Later Banerjee supported Mukherjee but with a ‘heavy heart’.
“All issues will be discussed and deliberated upon and the future path of the party would be ascertained. As of now I am not aware of any appointment with chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Mulayam Singh has a tight scheduled and there is little chance of meeting the Bengal chief minister,” said Kiranmoy Nanda, general secretary of the party.
The party is keen to play a crucial role in forming the next government at the Centre and recently the Samajwadi party’s growing proximity with the Left and TDP hinted at at nonCongress non-BJP Third Front at the Centre.
Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said the party “would pray for a situation” in which questions such as who would lead a Third Front government in the Centre would be answered. Ramgopal Yadav was answering a question whether they would accept Mamata Banerjee as the prime minister of a Third Front government. “The time has not yet come to answer such a question,” he said.