A rattled Congress did not react to Yadav’s remarks with top leaders saying they would prefer to wait and watch how the situation unfolds.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday sent warning signals to the Congress, which is keen to be part of a Bihar-style SP-BSP-RLD grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh, expressing his unhappiness with the party for not making its lone MLA in Madhya Pradesh a minister saying the turn of events has cleared the way for the SP to choose its line. He also said he would travel to Hyderabad to meet Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao who is trying to forge a ‘non-Congress, non-BJP’ front. A rattled Congress did not react to Yadav’s remarks with top leaders saying they would prefer to wait and watch how the situation unfolds. Some suggested it is posturing and linked it to the Congress’s performance in the recent Assembly elections.
The fact, however, remains that SP and BSP have been keeping the Congress guessing, charting a separate course in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and staying away from a recent opposition meeting. Last week, a top Congress leader had reached out to the SP to gauge its mood. Significantly, Yadav today mentioned the Congress and the BJP in the same breath and praised TRS chief Rao for his attempts towards a ‘regional or federal front’. “As far as alliance is concerned, different leaders from different parties are making attempts. I am hopeful that some or the other alliance would take place,” said Yadav, adding, “Abhi kuch din pehle BJP ka dhanyawad diya ki unhone humein backward bana diya tha…. to humari line clear ho gayi…rasta saaf ho gaya (Recently, I thanked the BJP because they made us backwards… they cleared our line and our way).”
Talking about Congress, he said, “Abhi hum Congress ko dhanyawad diye ki Madhya Pradesh mein humare ek jeete hue vidhayak ko mantri nahi banaye… Unhone bhi rasta saaf kar diya… hum dono dalon ka dhanyawad dete hain ki…Samajwadiyon ka rasta saaf kar diya (Now I thank Congress that it did not make our lone MLA a minister in Madhya Pradesh. They also cleared the way. We thank both the Parties for clearing the way of Samajwadi).” Congratulating Telangana chief minister for working on a federal front, Yadav said that as he was not able to meet him this Wednesday, he would meet him in Hyderabad. Referring to BJP government in the state as ‘ ‘Nikkami’ Akhilesh targeted the recent Yuva Kumbh where Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said that that it would only be the BJP which would be able to construct Ram temple. He said there should have been a debate, instead, on the unemployment problem and the state government should have talked about how many jobs had been generated in the state.
While both Samajwadi Party as well as BSP have offered unconditional support to Congress in Madhya Pradesh, like Akhilesh, Maywati had also equated Congress with BJP in the past. Both sidelined the Congress during by-elections in the state despite the fact that Congress was ready and willing. BSP had offered its support to Samajwadi Party candidates in significant Lok Sabha seats like Gorakhpur and Phulpur, vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and their alliance had won. Congress fielded its own candidates in these seats. When contacted, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhry said: “The Congress had promised to induct SP MLA as minister. Congress was not in majority there. After that, such behaviour is not appropriate.”