Making a fast move forward to join the Samajwadi Party, the former foreign minister Natwar Singh said on Tuesday gave broad hint that he was ready to associate with chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and it was just matter of time.
The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday provided a platform to Natwar Singh to depart from the Congress. Singh, who was suspended from the Congress following row over Iraq's food-for-oil-scam last year, hoped that "he would be finally sacked from the Congress by the evening" to pave way for joining the SP.
Addressing a gathering in Lucknow on Tuesday on "India's foreign policy and Iraq", Singh also attacked the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for deviating from traditional foreign policy.
Making dig at Sonia Gandhi, Natwar Singh said "those not born in the country could not understand India's ethos and traditions". Mulayam Singh, joining him in attack on the Congress leadership, opened SP's doors for Natwar.
Yadav said he had been trying since 1996 to rope in Natwar Singh to SP and now the time had come. Assuring full political protection, Yadav said "whenever you decide, you would not find a party better than democratic SP".
Natwar amid applause said "swikarya hai" (accepted). However a formal announcement of joining the party is yet to be made.
Natwar said his tenure in Rajya Sabha was up to April 10, 2008 and he did not want the Congress to increase its tally by his resignation. Thus Singh made desperate attempt to provoke the Congress to sack him from the party to protect his membership in the Upper House.
"Mera kuch swarth nihit hai" (I have some vested interest), he quipped. However the chief minister said 14 months hardly mattered, as the SP was ready to safeguard his honour. He said the Congress attempt to destroy Natwar's political career would be thwarted.
Natwar Singh said under Dr Manmoham Singh-Sonia Gandhi team the country had lost its voice on international forum. Singh also elaborately explained his innocence in Iraq's oil scam. Claiming that all the inquiry commissions had exonerated him, Singh said that "US had conspired against him". The ex-foreign minister also dwelt on decline and fall of foreign policy after end of Nehru-Indira-Rajiv era.
Yadav, who has been facing accusation of hobnobbing with RSS-BJP, also got certificate from Natwar that "SP is true secular party".
Natwar said Yadav would be remembered for his work in the state. Natwar said "it was Yadav who scuttled communal forces move to crush secularism".
He said deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein always backed India in crisis, but Congress-led UPA government kept quite during "US aggression on Iraq".
Yadav dubbing Congress as "Ghulamo ki party" (party of slaves) said Natwar had come out of it.
He said Natwar had credible track record and did not depend on mercy of Sonia Gandhi. Yadav said the US had been trying to destroy Islamic countries. The SP general secretary Amar Singh welcomed Natwar Singh.