Akhilesh says SP ready for snap polls, blames PM for economic situation
Lucknow/New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has said Samajwadi party is "ready" for mid-term polls and also blamed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the country's difficult economic situation.
Yadav at the same time said Samajwadi party, which has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha, is supporting the UPA government to keep communal forces at bay but ruled out the possibility of his party joining the UPA ministry at the Centre.
BJP on its part accused SP of entering into a deal with the UPA government and playing the "communal card" to justify its support to it at the Centre while CPI(M) did not see any prospect of early elections after Trinamool pulled out of UPA.
"As far as (mid-term) polls are concerned, SP is ready... Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has clearly stated that SP has always taken steps to keep communal forces at bay," Akhilesh told reporters in Mathura yesterday.
Discounting the possibility of joining the UPA government, he said, "With limited time left for the government who will want to join it?"
Samajwadi Party had participated in the Bharat Bandh on September 20 to protest against the FDI in multi-brand retail and hike in diesel prices.
Akhilesh also attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, holding him responsible for the difficult economic situation.
In an apparent dig at the Prime Minister for his remark that 'money does not grow on trees in his address to the nation on Friday, he said, "If an economist of his stature gives such an answer, then we have to certainly take note of it."
"What benefit will FDI bring to farmers and traders who eke out a living from small stores? Samajwadi Party will not take any decision which will affect farmers and small traders," Akhilesh said.
In Phagwara, CPI-M leader Sitaram yechury said, "Unless both BSP and SP withdraw their support to the UPA, snap polls won't take place. After all, democracy is a number game."
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, meanwhile, quelled speculation of a third front, saying no conclusion should be drawn from the meeting between him and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday. Badal claimed only NDA will form the next government at the Centre.