Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav appealed for strengthening the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) on Wednesday but was non-committal about the much-talked about alliance with the Congress.
Yadav, who was re-elected the party's president at the three-day national convention, however, announced an electoral alliance with Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (S) in Karnataka for the upcoming assembly elections in May.
"Consolidating SP further in UP was necessary to the over all performance of UNPA. We are hopeful that SP would emerge stronger after the next Lok Sabha election," Yadav said.
Instead of directly dealing with the issue of an alliance with the Congress, Yadav left it to the party general secretary Amar Singh to elaborate on the issue. Singh made it clear that there was no personal animosity with the Congress. "Our fight with the Congress is ideological and not personal," Amar Singh told a gathering of party workers.
However, Singh said, "There should always be space for talk with other forces. Our fight is against communal forces and we are open to the idea of talking to anybody to keep the communal forces out."
Reacting to questions on a Congress-SP alliance and his relations with UPCC general secretary Digvijay Singh Yadav said, "Amar Singh's statement was final on the issue, I share similar views." Yadav indicated that no alliance with the Congress would be possible without Amar Singh.
Yadav said all parties, including the Congress, had joined hands with a "casteist party (read BSP) against his party during the last assembly elections in UP.