A day after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Mulayam Singh Yadav; the Samajwadi Party (SP) went soft on its demand for removing steel minister Beni Prasad Verma for his intemperate remarks against their leader.
The SP, however, kept the suspense alive over its future relations with the Congress.
At the meeting of the SP parliamentary party, several MPs were belligerent on the Verma issue. But Yadav is understood to have told the meeting that – since Congress chief and Prime Minister had personally intervened – the party should wait for the outcome.
“The SP is not demanding resignation of the steel minister as of now. The Verma chapter is virtually over. The SP will not try to destabilize the government,” a SP leader said.
But in a bid to keep the Congress under pressure at a time when the UPA is critically dependent on the support of SP, Yadav’s party “authorized” him to decide on all issues, including the continuation of outside support to the UPA government “at an appropriate time and in the interest of the party”.
Yadav too, decided to hold back the fire and refused to give any time frame for taking a decision on continuing support to the UPA.
“How can you decide on the time? I will take a decision on various issues when the time comes,” Yadav said.
Observers say that Yadav is also not interested in being part of any move to pull down a government.
“Yadav also realizes that he will need Congress support to fulfill his ambitions of becoming Prime Minister after the 2014 parliamentary elections – should such possibilities arise. Therefore, he will never burn his bridges with the Congress, observers feel.