LUCKNOW (TIP): The demand to withdraw support to UPA II within the Samajwadi Party (SP) went up on September 20 as a shutdown called by it evoked near complete response in many parts of Uttar Pradesh.
The SP had earlier put off its parliamentary board meeting as it wanted to gauge the “mood of the nation” against the central government decisions to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade and hike diesel prices.
The party’s rank and file seem to feel that any support to the Congress could spike its electoral fortunes.
Enough indications trickled from the top brass of the SP that it was no longer keen to be seen on the same side of the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance.
Close aides of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said he was holding talks with senior party colleagues.
An aide said the channel of communication opened between the Congress and the SP was on hold for now.
Many SP leaders like Bhagwati Singh, Mohan Singh, Shivpal Yadav, Ahmad Hasan and Mohd Azam Khan have reportedly asked Mulayam Singh not to be swayed by Congress sweet talk or political blackmail.
“It is very clear that UPA II is now on ventilator, why should we be seen siding with a sinking ship?” a senior UP minister said.
Senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav says the Congress should understand the anger among the people.
He also demanded a rollback of last week’s decisions, including a hike in diesel prices and a cap on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders to consumers.
“The Congress government is tottering and it should be flexible,” Mulayam Singh told a group of leaders who met him in New Delhi on Thursday.
The SP is understood to be miffed over reports that the Congress was trying to strike a deal with its arch rival, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
A section of SP leaders, including the young brigade led by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, are learnt to be of the view that siding with the Congress now could prove suicidal.
Akhilesh Yadav had recently said that his party was ready for early Lok Sabha elections.