Save the alliance: Mulayam to Sonia
In a letter to the Congress president, Yadav warned about the danger of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) benefiting in case of a split in Uttar Pradesh’s “secular votes”. Nagendar Sharma reports.india Updated: Mar 11, 2009 00:39 IST
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has appealed to Sonia Gandhi to intervene and save the alliance. In a letter to the Congress president, Yadav warned about the danger of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) benefiting in case of a split in Uttar Pradesh’s “secular votes”.
His letter is being seen as a desperate bid to salvage the alliance, which appears to be falling apart after serious differences over seat sharing.
“Both, for the SP and the Congress, the BSP has emerged as the Enemy Number One in the state, both of us should do nothing which could benefit the party that has aligned with communal forces in the past,” Yadav wrote.
He has asked Sonia to direct her leaders against being keen on the “alliance obituary”. Both parties should be patient while announcing candidates on each other’s sitting seats.
“There is still time and we need to exercise caution as it takes time for alliances to materialise, but does not take much time to disintegrate.”
The Congress reacted with caution. “I am not aware of the letter, but we are willing to have an alliance with the SP. It would benefit both of us, the last word is yet to be said,” said party general secretary Digvijay Singh.
His Samajwadi counterpart Amar Singh, who has been talking tough on seat sharing till now, appeared to have softened his stand on Tues-day. “No secular government can be formed in the country without Sonia Gandhi. Our alliance could not take the shape as desired by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sonia Gandhi... who knows in future we can leave some more seats for them.”
Arjun adds Kalyan fuel
Arjun’s Singh’s remark on the SP-Kalyan Singh friendship may have added to the bitterness. He told a news channel that Singh was the sour note in the SP-Congress alliance. But Amar Singh hit back, saying: “Arjun Singh is like an old person in the family. His comments are of no consequence to me.”