Even though Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has committed support to the UPA, he is exploring options for the next election season.
By announcing his support to the UPA and making indiscreet moves to reach out to the Left and other political parties at the same time, the SP leader seems to be hedging his bets in the current political clime.
A day after he pledged his support to the UPA and ruled out the possibility of mid-term elections, Yadav told a news channel on Saturday he would support a resolution against FDI in retail in Parliament - should this be brought in by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. "The SP might itself bring in such a resolution," Yadav said.
After his much-talked-about meeting with Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday, there were speculations on Sunday that he will also be holding a pow-wow with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. However, no such meeting took place.
Yadav's re-think on supporting the UPA has reportedly been promoted by feedback from party workers in UP. A group of ministers was understood to have met CM Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday, telling him that there was a groundswell of resentment against the SP's decision to bail out the UPA government.
Concerned, the SP chief left for Lucknow on Sunday evening.
However, the CPM-led four Left parties are convinced that he will not withdraw support to the UPA government anytime soon. Yadav was expected to be in Lucknow during the bandh, but had changed his plans following a phone call from CPM leader Sitaram Yechury.
"Mulayam has almost made it clear to us that he will not oppose the government, in case the opposition parties bring a no-confidence motion against the UPA government at this juncture," said a Left leader.
Though Yadav has been close to the Left for two decades, the two have disagreed on the issue of supporting the Congress.