Congress on Monday played down Samajwadi Party partriach Mulayam Singh Yadav’s non-endorsement of its alliance with the regional outfit in Uttar Pradesh and claimed the people in the poll-bound state are in favour of the tie-up. The Sonia Gandhi-led party said Mulayam’s comments opposing the alliance were his personal views. “Congress has aligned with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Singh Yadav, and going by the tremendous response to (joint press meet of) Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh yesterday, it is clear the people of UP favour the alliance between the two young leaders. It is time to support the new leadership,” party leader and MP Shashi Tharoor said.
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Tharoor was addressing a press conference here after releasing a “chargesheet” against the two-decade-old rule of Shiv Sena-BJP combine in the Mumbai civic body, which goes to the polls on February 21. Asked about Mulayam voicing displeasure over the SP-Congress tie-up for the Assembly polls in the most populated State, the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram said the former UP Chief Minister was entitled to his personal views. “I am completely against the alliance. I will not campaign for it,” Mulayam said Sunday.
Asked whether the tie-up with Samajwadi Party will be extended to the Mumbai civic elections also, Tharoor said his party takes alliance decisions as per local conditions. Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam, who was present at the press meet, said it was too late to discuss an alliance with SP for the BMC elections, but his party is open to a post-poll pact with the UP-based party.
“We are open to a post-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party for betterment of Mumbai,” he said. Referring to the Mumbai civic polls, Tharoor said the civic corporation, which has an annual budget of Rs 38,000 crore, was not efficiently managed by the Sena-BJP combine. The saffron combine, which had been voted to power four times in the civic body, has no competence to run the civic administration, the diplomat-turned-politician said.
“They have betrayed people with their failure in governance. Rs 1 lakh crore budgetary expenditure is unaudited. A sum of Rs 28,000 crore had been spent on roads in the last 10 years but this year there was 13 per cent rise in number of potholes as compared to the previous year,” he said.
Tharoor said the “chargesheet” brought out by the Mumbai Congress highlights the civic body’s “failures” related to providing water, roads, garbage disposal, solid waste management and running hospitals and schools.