Sangli (Maharashtra): Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday said the era of one-party rule was over and the future belongs to coalition governments.
"Coalition government is the need of the country as no single party can come to power at Centre on its own strength," he said.
Samajwadi Party, with 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha, provides crucial outside support to Congress-led UPA-II at Centre.
"It is high time that parties, which have the common goal to achieve social change come together as in Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," Yadav said.
He was addressing a public meeting commemorating the first death anniversary of veteran freedom fighter and pioneer of cooperative movement in Maharashtra, Nagnath Anna Naikwadi, at Valva village in the western Maharashtra district.
Yadav, who had served as Defence Minister in the United Front coalition government in 1996, linked "growing expenditure" on defence sector to the plight of farmers in the country.
"China which supports farmers and agriculture sector is far ahead of India. Farmers are paying the price for growing expenditure on defence sector, which is the result of not-so-cordial relations of India with neighbours Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. There is dire need to help farmers," he said.
He performed the ground breaking ceremony for the upcoming memorial of Naikwadi and that of the Ethanol-based project of Hutatma Sugar Factory at the village on the occasion.
To a question about his party organisation, Yadav said, "Samajwadi Party is no more a party of seniors but one comprising youths and women. That is why Akhilesh became chief minister of Uttar Pradesh."