SP says open to BJP too if it modifies agenda

Rieterating what Amar Singh had said a day before,Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Wednesday that his party would have no objection in having an alliance with the BJP provided it shuns issues like Article 377,uniform civil code and Ram Mandir.

Written by Alka Pande | Lucknow | Published: February 19, 2009 1:42 am

Rieterating what Amar Singh had said a day before,Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Wednesday that his party would have no objection in having an alliance with the BJP provided it shuns issues like Article 377,uniform civil code and Ram Mandir.

The SP leaders were clarifying their stand on poll alliances and friendship with former BJP leader and Ayodhya mascot Kalyan Singh.

But as the statement set political circles abuzz,both parties were quick to distance themselves from such a possibility. The SP general secretary,Ram Gopal Yadav,said: “Mulayam has always argued that the BJP shed its communal agenda before the SP can think of doing business with them”. “There is no question of any understanding with the BJP at this stage or even after the polls,” he told The Indian Express.

BJP general secretary in charge of UP Arun Jaitley also “completely ruled out” the possibility of any tie-up between the two parties.

Still under attack for association with Kalyan,Mulayam said they had never given the former BJP chief minister a clean chit on the Babri Masjid issue. “Rather I would say 95 per cent of the responsibility was that of the Congress (which was in power at the Centre at that time),” Amar Singh said.

Amar Singh and Mulayam’s comments came at an informal interaction in the presence of Mulayam on the occasion of party candidate Sanjay Dutt’s visit to Lucknow.

When the reporters tried to grill Dutt on the Kalyan issue,Mulayam said: “I am the party. I am its president. It was my decision to associate Kalyan with us. I am responsible for this move.”

Also,for the first time,Mulayam openly criticised senior party leader Azam Khan,who has been sulking since the party announced its friendship with Kalyan. “Whatever his grudge is,he should say it at the party forum. Talking about the party’s internal issues on public platforms is objectionable,” Mulayam said.

He said the issue of disgruntled leaders will be discussed at length at the party’s state executive next week.

The SP leaders criticised both the BJP and Congress for unnecessarily raking up the Babri Masjid issue. “Neither means what it says. Had they been serious,efforts would have been made for the construction of the temple and the mosque,” said Singh.

On the question of alliance with the Congress,the leaders categorically said: “We are ready for the alliance. Now the ball is in the Congress’s court.”

Sanjay wanted to quit films: Amar
Sanjay Dutt wanted to quit cinema for politics but was persuaded not to do so,SP leader Amar Singh said on Wednesday. “Initially,I had my doubts since Sanjay is a film actor. But I was surprised when he said he was ready to quit films for politics. —PTI

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