Hours after Samajwadi Party (SP) President Mulayam Singh Yadav (69) said that his party would sit in the Opposition in the new Lok Sabha; party general secretary Amar Singh (54) contradicted him by extending complete and unconditional support to the Manmonhan Singh government.
The party’s letter of support to the UPA government can be sent anytime, the SP general secretary said at a news conference on Monday evening.
“It is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to decide whether or not to allot ministerial berths to SP members, but we are not putting forward any preconditions”, he added.
Earlier in the day, the SP President told reporters at Mainpuri that the SP would sit in the Opposition.
“Recent statements of Congress leaders provoked the SP President to say that, but he should not have been provoked”, Singh said.
The SP general secretary’s reference was recent utterances of Congress leaders including Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, Iqbal Singh and Rajiv Shukla. “These leaders have been making provocative statements saying that the Congress does not need and will not solicit the support of the Congress”, he said.
Singh said that the Prime Minister – with whom he had had two telephonic conversations during the day – had told him that these leaders of the Congress were not authorized to take a decision in such matters.
“I told the Prime Minister that the utterances of Kamal Nath and other leaders have hurt us”, he said.
Regarding the terms of engagement with the Congress, the SP leader did not rule out any option. “The mechanism of the SP-Congress coordination committee can also be thought about”, he said.