Mulayam warns Congress not to meddle in his ties with KalyanFebruary 8th, 2009 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Feb 8 (IANS) Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav Sunday warned the Congress not to meddle in the party’s new-found ties with former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh.
“My advice to the Congress party is to keep off what is an internal affair of the Samajwadi Party,” Yadav told a press conference here.
The Samajwadi Party and the Congress have been trying to forge an electoral alliance in Uttar Pradesh, but both have stuck to their stands.
Contrary to the common feeling in the Samajawadi Party’s rank and file, Yadav reiterated that ties with Kalyan Singh would not cost him the Muslim vote.
Kalyan Singh, once a Hindutva hardliner, was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when fundamentalist mobs destroyed the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.
“It is better that Congress leaders stop making comments on the Samajwadi Party’s relationship with Kalyan Singh, or else we would also have to remind them of their role in accomplishing the shilaniyas of the proposed Ayodhya temple as also in the earlier unlocking of the temple gates,” Yadav warned.
Asked if he was willing to sacrifice a possible political alliance with the Congress for the sake of his growing proximity to Kalyan Singh, he said: “we are still supporting the Congress party, but let them not meddle with whatever I am doing within my party.”
“Only those who do not want the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) to be marginalised are opposed to my association with Kalyan Singh,” he added.
Asked about the reported growing resentment among his party’s Muslim leaders against the tie-up with Kalyan Singh, Yadav said: “My party colleagues who have problems about my association with Kalyan Singh need to talk it out to me. I am sure their misgivings would be sorted out.”
Queried about the criticism from his one-time close confidante Azam Khan, Yadav said: “We are very close to each other and once we have a meeting, such differences will get buried.”
Defending his move, he said: “Kalyan Singh’s association with our party will bring in a large number of farmers and backward castes under our common banner across the state.”
He recalled how a number of Islamic clerics had also recently ratified his association with Kalyan Singh.