Mulayam cosies up closer to Congress

May 13th, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by admin  

By Liz Mathew
New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav Tuesday made his intentions to woo the Congress clearer than before lashing against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati whom he called “ungrateful” to the ruling party which had helped her come to power a year ago. Mulayam Singh, who in the past always accused the Congress of targeting him and his party members, heaped praises on former prime minister Indira Gandhi at a public rally in Lucknow and even went to the extent of crediting Mayawati’s successes to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

“She (Mayawati) does not realise who Mulayam Singh is, and that she is no match for Indiraji (Indira Gandhi). She is not even worthy of the dust at her feet. Mayawati has not come to power through the people, but through the charity of the UPA government. And now, she is biting the hand that fed her,” said the Samajwadi Party chief.

He added, ” I have never seen a more ungrateful person.”

He blamed Mayawati for trying to “frame” Samajwadi Party MP and general secretary Amar Singh in “fake” cases.

“After having amassed wealth through corruption, Mayawati is now in her arrogance going after this or that person hell bent on revenge,” he said.

Referring to income tax raids at Amar Singh’s Kolkata residence, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said: “Police officers have been asked by the Mayawati government to frame me, Amitabh Bachchan and Amar Singh.”

Congress leaders seemed more than happy to hear Mulayam’s words of praise.

“We welcome his remarks and we appreciate his praise for our leader,” Jitin Prasada, minister of state for steel and Congress MP from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, told IANS.

Senior party leaders privately agreed it was yet another overture of friendship from its bete noire in Uttar Pradesh, with whom they have been locked in acrimony for years.

However, the Congress leaders admitted that it was a little too early to see in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s outburst the indications of a pre-poll electoral alliance between the two parties.

“It is very clear that Mulayam now wants to join hands with us. However, the Congress leadership is sceptical and careful in their approach to the Samajwadi Party because it has cheated our leaders in the past,” said a senior Congress minister, who did not wish to be identified.

Prasada, who welcomed the softening of stand on the part of the Samajwadi Party, said: “The top leadership will take a decision after deliberations and discussions.”

Mulayam Singh’s public overture followed his secretary’s statement that the party is willing to reconsider its earlier opposition to the contentious Indo-US nuclear deal, which was opposed doggedly both by the Samajwadi Party and the Left.

Even as the Samajwadi Party seems to be inching closer to the Congress, its rift with the Left is widening, with the top leaders of the two parties taking pot-shots at each other over several issues.

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