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Outside support to keep communal forces out: SP chief

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times   New Delhi/Lucknow, March 19, 2012
First Published: 14:52 IST(19/3/2012) | Last Updated: 22:44 IST(19/3/2012)

The Congress and the Samajwadi Party on Monday took accommodative postures towards each other after two months’ intense rivalry before the UP elections.

Ruling out any chance of his joining the Centre for just “one year”, SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said his party would continue outside support to the UPA government.

“They never made us any offer, nor did requests go to them from our end,” he said.

Making his point explicit, Yadav said: “What’s the point in joining the government for a year.” “The Congress can’t run it (the government) alone and we have been supporting it only for one reason — that is, keeping the communal forces out.”

Given the unsteady relations between the Congress and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool, the government may need the SP’s support if she decides to pull out. The SP has 22 MPs against the Trinamool’s 19.

The SP has bailed out the UPA government on the nuclear deal and did it again on Monday by supporting it on the issue of the National Counter Terrorism Centre in Parliament on Monday.

The Congress, on its part, again signalled warm ties with the SP and chose to go soft on tainted MLA Raja Bhaiyya.

Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi maintained the Congress didn’t support taint in public life but took cover under UP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s remarks that allegations against Bhaiyya were baseless.

Asked about the Congress accusing the SP of ‘goondraj’ and ‘aatankraj’ during the poll campaign, he chose to make a distinction between the SP in the past and the present.

“One could have used the word for the previous regime. The new government has taken place just two days ago. To say that our comments were for the government in future is akin to making a political statement,” Singhvi said.

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