Just days after endorsing senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Samajwadi Party on Monday ruled out any future alignment with the saffron party.
Clarifying the party stand, general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said that "praise should not be seen through (a) political prism".
"What we have said is true about the BJP leadership, but that does not mean that we will have an association with the BJP in times to come," Yadav said.
A few days back, Rajya Sabha member and cousin of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, had lauded the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule, claiming it was much better than the rule of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
In a television interview, Ram Gopal Yadav had said that the NDA was more cohesive and less corrupt, and led by men of especial leadership ability, including LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also two days back created a stir when he heaped praise on senior BJP leader and former deputy prime minister LK Advani, calling him an honest man who "never ever lied".
This statement at a public function, coming after Ram Gopal Yadav's praise of the BJP government, was seen by many as being politically "loaded", ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Ram Gopal Yadav, however, put all speculation to rest on Monday, asserting that there was no "indirect understanding" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. He said the SP would never ally with the BJP.
"We are two different parties with different political agendas and beliefs. There can be no convergence of the two," Ram Gopal Yadav said in Lucknow.
He, however, defended the statements he and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav made praising BJP leaders. "That was a truth, what we said. In politics, there are no enemies, only opponents," Ram Gopal Yadav said.
The praise the SP leaders heaped on the BJP and its leaders had invited a sharp rebuke from minority leaders across the political spectrum, who accused Mulayam Singh Yadav of veering closer to communal forces.