Congress unhappy with Mulayam-Kalyan friendshipMarch 5th, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, March 5 (IANS) Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s bonhomie with rebel Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh seems to be one of the major stumbling blocks in its poll talks with the Congress, besides their discord on seat sharing, a Congress party source indicated.
The Congress released a list of 24 candidates for Uttar Pradesh after the Samajwadi Party announced candidates for 64 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats. In the Congress’ list, 11 constituencies were already in the Samajwadi Party’s declared list - an indicator that things are not well between the two parties that were seen as prospective partners for the parliamentary elections.
Kalyan Singh was chief minister when the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya was demolished, which appears to be a cause of worry for the Congress that is banking on the return of Muslim votes in Uttar Pradesh.
“How can we go ahead with a party that has thrown its arms open to a hardcore saffron leader like Kalyan Singh, who not only spear-headed the anti-Babri movement but was directly responsible for its demolition (on Dec 6, 1992),” a top state Congress leader told IANS preferring anonymity.
According to him, “such bonhomie with Kalyan Singh is bound to cost Mulayam Singh dear as it has already drawn much flak from the Muslim community.”
He said the Congress “cannot make any compromise with its secular credentials”, adding that unless Mulayam Singh breaks off with Kalyan Singh, “I do not think it would be possible for the Congress to turn a blind eye to the SP-Kalyan kinship.”
However, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh has dismissed the theory of Muslims getting alienated due to his friendship with Kalyan Singh.
“That is a misnomer; I have spoken to maulanas and heads of all prominent Islamic institutions including Deoband and Nadwa; they are all convinced that our association with Kalyan Singh is aimed at crushing the BJP. And there is no denying that Kalyan’s departure from the BJP has dealt a big blow to the party,” Mulayam Singh told IANS.
A Samajwadi Party activist said: “It is clear that our Muslim support has not been affected by our tie-up with Kalyan Singh, whose exit from the BJP is bound to weaken the party.”