Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said the Third Front parties led by his Samajwadi Party (SP) would form the next government at the centre.
He, however, also said he was not putting claims on the Prime Minister’s post.
“My name for the prime minister’s post had been almost finalized in the past.
On earlier occasions, some people who were least expected to occupy the post had become prime ministers,” Yadav said in an interview to a Hindi news channel.
“Neither the Congress nor the BJP will get a majority in 2014. Among the Third Front parties also, the SP will emerge as the largest party,” he said.
Yadav defended NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s claims to the PMs post.
“If he wishes so, what is wrong with that,” he asked. He also did not rule out joining hands with regional leaders such as Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee. “We have worked with such leaders in the past as well,” he said.
In the same vein, he said the Congress had always created adverse conditions for him.
Referring to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s chances of becoming the prime minister, Yadav said “his name was being floated by the media”. He also questioned Modi’s claims to ushering development in Gujarat.
“What is this Modi model? Gujarat is prosperous because of corporate like the Reliance,” he said.
Concerning speculations that Modi was considering the option of contesting from a Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, he said this was a hypothetical question and that he would respond to this when it happened.
Asked if the next electoral battle would be a “Rahul versus Modi” campaign, Yadav recalled that the 2012 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh had been projected as a “Rahul Versus Akhilesh campaign”. “And everybody knows the result”.
Yadav denied that the crime graph in UP was increasing. “UP is ten times bigger than Delhi, yet Delhi has ten times the crime rate of UP,” he said.