SP says open to ‘modified’ BJP

Rieterating what Amar Singh had said a day before,Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav...

Written by Alka Pande | Lucknow | Published:February 19, 2009 9:49 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 a truck 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.

However,as the statement set political circles abuzz,both parties were quick to distance themselves from such a possibility. 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.”

Dutt only said: “Kalyan Singh is a leader of big stature. I have been told that his association would strengthen the party and at the same time weaken the BJP.” Incidentally,the actor’s father Sunil Dutt was the only Congress MP to have resigned after the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

For the first time,Mulayam openly criticised senior party leader Azam Khan,who has been sulking since the party announced its friendship with Kalyan. The SP leaders also criticised both the BJP and Congress for unnecessarily raking up the Babri Masjid issue.

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