Lucknow: In his first reaction after the announcement of Pranab Mukherjee as the Presidential candidate by the UPA on Friday, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said that his party would support the candidature of Finance Minister.
“Names given with the Trinamool Congress were only suggestions. In politics decision change according to the situation,” Mulayam said on being asked about his party’s announcement of three candidates for the top post along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The duo at a joint press conference on Wednesday had said that their choice of candidates for Raisina Hill were APJ Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and Somnath Chaterjee.
However, today the SP chief said that his deal with the TMC chief was redundant now and there was ‘no point in talking about the past now’. Infact he got irritated at the media for repeatedly asking him questions about the M+M coming together on the issue of Presidential elections.
SP patriarch also added that there was no talk of his party joining the UPA coalition at the Centre. “We are not joining the UPA,” Mulayam categorically said.
This is a complete U-turn by the Samajwadi Party on the issue of Presidential elections. Mulayam Singh Yadav joining hands with the unpredictable Mamata Banerjee had taken the Congress by surprise. What created greater discomfiture for the grand old party was the naming of Manmohan Singh as a potential President candidate by M+M, in a virtually announcing that they had no faith in the PM to head the country.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has always been the saviour for the Congress, be it the nuclear deal or the Lokpal Bill.
The Congress was always comfortable with the fact that if and when the maverick leader from West Bengal may decide to leave the UPA coalition, they could always depend on the SP to bail them out. The SP is giving outside support to the present government.
But now that the Samajwadi Party has come out in support of the Presidential candidate of the UPA, the Congress must be heaving a sigh of relief.
First Published: Friday, June 15, 2012, 19:19