The Samajwadi Party (SP) appears to be preparing for life without the Congress. Indications in Lucknow are that the SP will go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections as its relationship with the Congress is on the brink of a rupture. There is a feeling in both the camps that an alliance will not work out.
The SP, which has announced 52 candidates in the state, has finalised the remaining names (UP has 80 Lok Sabha seats). However, even if an alliance doesn’t work out with the Congress, the SP is unlikely to field candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi, which are represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, respectively.
SP leader Amar Singh continued to use harsh language against the ruling party before presspersons in Mumbai on Wednesday. He said the Congress adopted a policy of “use and throw” towards its allies once it felt that they were no longer required.
“When the utility is over.. the Congress does not even recognise its allies. That is clearly visible,” Singh said.
The major issue of discord has been the case of disproportionate assets against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, which is being heard in the Supreme Court.
The SP wanted a direction from the Centre to the CBI to withdraw the case, but the court’s refusal has angered the party. Alleging that the CBI was being used as a tool, Singh said a question mark had arisen over the impartiality of the agency since the ruling Congress was influencing it.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh however said in New Delhi, “The CBI is an autonomous agency and should not be dragged into a political debate. The SP should concentrate on the Lok Sabha elections.” He said “personal ego clashes” should not be allowed to rock the alliance, in an apparent reference that the party was not happy with the daily outbursts of SP leaders.
Even though the Congress has been maintaining restraint in its comments on SP leaders, the warmth has gone. “If an alliance (in UP) works out, it’s ok. If it doesn’t, it’s ok,” Digvijay Singh said.
‘We’re going by rules’
Reacting to the apex court’s stinging observations on the CBI’s request for the court’s permission to submit findings of its preliminary probe against Mulayam, agency’s director Ashwani Kumar told media, “That is as per rules and procedures.” “Whenever we go to the Supreme Court and high court, we go through the government of India and through the ministry of law.”
CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said, “The matter is pending in the honorable Supreme Court and top lawyers are arguing the matter... We will wait for the order of the apex court and will abide by it letter and spirit.”