Yadav said that by denying the SP a ministerial berth in MP, the Congress had 'cleared the path for UP'.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has slammed the Congress party for denying a ministerial post to the lone party MLA in the Madhya Pradesh government. Expressing his disappointment with the grand old party, Yadav said that the turn of events has cleared the way for SP to choose its line.
In possibly the first clear sign of the SP drifting away from the Congress, Yadav lauded TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for ‘striving hard’ to form a federal front of regional parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On Wednesday, Yadav said that he would travel to Hyderabad to meet Rao who is trying to forge a ‘non-Congress, non-BJP’ front.
Speaking to the media in Lucknow, Yadav said that by denying the SP a ministerial berth in MP, the Congress had ‘cleared the path for UP’. To a question on including the Congress in any alliance to take on the BJP unitedly, Yadav expressed displeasure over the Congress’ party’s decision of not giving SP a place in the Kamal Nath-led government.
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“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. 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 (Recently, I thanked the BJP because they made us backwards… they cleared our line and our way. Now I thank Congress that it did not make our lone MLA a minister in MP. They also cleared the way. We thank both the parties for clearing the way for SP),” Yadav said.
Though the Congress, with 114 seats, emerged as the single largest party in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, it failed to cross the halfway mark (116) on its own and had to enlist the support of the BSP and the SP, which won two seats and one, respectively. However, no legislator from the two parties was given a place in the Kamal Nath cabinet.
The warning signal by the former UP CM will be seen as another indication of the growing disenchantment of the SP with the Congress and the likelihood of the Congress being kept out of the proposed ‘grand alliance’ in UP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On the other hand, for the Congress party, which is keen to be part of a Bihar-style SP-BSP-RLD grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav’s comment does not send an encouraging signal, considering that SP has a good grip over state’s electorate while the grand old party risks becoming completely redundant.
However, sensing the fluctuating relationship between SP and Congress, BJP latched onto Akhilesh Yadav’s jibe at the Congress to claim that it shows the increasing isolation of the main opposition party and non-acceptance of its chief Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. Targeting Gandhi over Yadav’s comments, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said, “As elections draw closer, the increasing isolation of the Congress and non-acceptance of Rahul Gandhi’s leadership becoming more pronounced.”
Meanwhile, the estranged uncle of Samajwadi Party chief, Shivpal Yadav, stressed that all those talking about forming a morcha to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party should also talk to his party which was ready to deliberate on the issue. The rebel SP leader, who recently floated the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), said he was willing to join hands with the Congress to defeat the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections and said that he has party’s organisation in 75 districts of the state and has decided to contest all the seats against the BJP and can also enter into an alliance with the Congress.