With an eye on the general elections which, he believes, will be an early one, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav began a new campaign to capture the national stage as an elder statesman — by employing his inimitable style of making unpredictable statements.
He tried to rattle his ally, the Congress, and even son Akhilesh, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, while singing paeans to BJP leader LK Advani. Addressing a function in Lucknow on Saturday, he accused the UPA government — to which he extends outside support — of being weak and corrupt and pulled up his son for poor governance.
Mulayam asked Akhilesh to stop being suave and act tough against those creating law and order problems. “I know the situation. The CM should conduct a review, act tough and take stern action wherever needed.”
But Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma, recently rapped on the knuckles for his attack on Mulayam, had another go at the SP chief, saying if “nephew” Akhilesh was given a free hand, “he will set things right”.
“Those serving the interest of their family can’t be termed socialists. How can they think of the common man when they are concerned only about themselves,” he said, without taking names.
Mulayam earlier said he was worried about UP as “Advani sahib says UP is in a very bad state and corruption is rampant... I have to assess the situation when a senior leader like Advani says such a thing. He never lies. He always speaks the truth”.