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SP withdraws support to UPA govt
February 21, 2007 15:07 IST
Last Updated: February 21, 2007 15:21 IST
In a significant decision, Samajwadi Party on Wednesday withdrew its support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre. The party has 38 members in Lok Sabha and the withdrawal of support may not have an impact on the stability of the UPA government, which has the backing of more than 300 members in a House of 545.
The decision to withdraw the 'outside' support, which comes in the wake of Congress' efforts to impose President's rule in Uttar Pradesh, was announced by state chief minister and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav at a meeting of senior party leaders and workers in Lucknow.
The chief minister said the country was divided vertically on the issue of the dismissal of his government and made an appeal to party workers to take to streets the very next day after a possible dismissal and register their protests in a peaceful manner.
The party had given support to the UPA to keep the communal forces at bay, Mulayam said, adding that since the Congress-led government had joined hands with the same forces in the conspiracy to dismiss his government, there was no point in continuing to support the UPA.
The Congress was in fact strengthening the communal forces, he alleged.
In his about 30-minute address, Mulayam alleged that Governor T V Rajeswar's report to the Centre was prepared by the lawyers of Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and Bharatiya Janata Party.
Claiming that his party had received support from a number of political outfits on the issue of dismissal of his government, Mulayam said the Congress was on the defensive now.
"The Congress is devoid of leadership. It is a dead party now. It has no strength. If you (workers) are ready to wage a long battle, the Congress will be wiped out from the Centre as well," he said.
Mulayam also made an appeal to the Left parties to withdraw their support to UPA government saying time had now come for that.
He urged the Election Commission not to fall prey into the trap of Congress and hold assembly polls in the state at the earliest. "If the EC wants to install the government of some particular party in the state, it should tell us. We shall boycott the polls then," he said.
Later, party general secretary Mohan Singh made a formal announcement, stating, "We now have no relations with the UPA. We shall sit in the Opposition and attack the government on issues concerning common people." The Congress and the SP have been having a love-hate relationship since the past couple of years when the latter unilaterally offered support to the UPA government with the Congress party maintaining that it had not asked for. Likewise, the Congress was also extending 'outside' support to the Mulayam-led coalition government from August 2003 though attacking it on various fronts.
The SP also has 16 members in the Rajya Sabha. "Support and fight cannot continue together," Mishra said, exhorting party workers not to allow any work by the Centre in the state if the state government was dismissed.