Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav seems to be exploring the possibility of winning the support of over sidelined Congress leader ND Tiwari for the next Lok Sabha elections.
Mulayam is expected to meet the former governor of Andhra Pradesh who resigned from the high office in the wake of a video clip from a sting operation aired on a Telugu TV channel purportedly showing him cavorting with some young women in bed.
On Monday, Tiwari's officer on special duty (OSD) called on Mulayam in Lucknow and at the same time former bureaucrat and vice-chairperson of UP Planning Commission NC Bajpai met Tiwari in Dehradun to seek his guidance on financial planning for UP.
"Mulayam Singhji has again asked Tiwariji to shift his base to UP. The SP chief also plans to visit Dehradun soon," Tiwari's OSD Bhawani Dutta Bhatt told HT soon after meeting Mulayam.
Mulayam had on Tiwari's 88th birthday on October 18 praised the former UP chief minister and invited him to live in UP.
SP sources say that though Mulayam knows Tiwari is unhappy with the treatment meted out to him by the Congress, the sulking leader is unlikely to join the SP. But if he agrees to share the dais with SP leaders, it coulud send a positive message among Brahmin voters in UP.
The SP aims to win as many seats as possible in UP and the Tiwari factor could play a role, party sources said. Tiwari has been chief minister of UP thrice and held several portfolios at the Centre.
"Tiwariji has vast administrative experience and the party wants to use it to take UP ahead," said Vinod Barthwal, former SP national general secretary.