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Laloo goes soft on Mulayam Yadav

May 15, 2004 00:08 IST

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav on Friday night said he had no objection to his bete noire Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav participating in the Congress-led government at the Centre.

Days earlier Laloo had accused the Samajwadi Party of splitting anti-Bharatiya Janata Party votes.

Within hours of Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet stating that the SP and the Nationalist Congress Party would 'associate' with the new dispensation, the RJD leader said, "I am not aware of the Marxist leader having said this. It's good. I have no objection."

Laloo's softness towards Mulayam comes as a surprise as he had spewed venom on the Uttar Pradesh chief minister throughout the two-month poll campaign accusing him of having weakened the secular alliance by playing as an agent of BJP.

To questions whether RJD would join the government or extend outside support, he said it was not a matter of priority for him. "Our objective was to defeat communal forces and we have succeeded."

Yadav said during his stay in the capital he would be meeting Sonia Gandhi and help in smooth government formation. "We will draft a Common Minimum Programme soon to speed up the government formation," he said.

Attacking Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Yadav said, "Legal action would be initiated against him for covering up heinous crimes committed during the riots under his rule."

Charging the Vajpayee government with discriminating against Bihar, the former chief minister said he would ensure a proper package was given to the state to meet the loss as a result of the bifurcation of the state.

He said both legal and political action would be considered afresh against Modi. "I am not being revengeful but what he did cannot be forgiven."

Yadav said he would make efforts for better Indo-Pak relations, as one should always keep neighbours in good humour.

On the nature of the coming government led by the Congress, Yadav said he would not make the mistakes committed while playing the role of 'king maker' earlier.

On the question of winding up the disinvestment ministry, the Bihar stalwart said, "The issue was not of closing shops but working by keeping in mind the needs and requirements of the people of the country."

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