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|January 24, 1998|
The Rediff Election Interview/Amar Singh
'I will do anything, repeat anything, to defeat the BJP'If a government falls in Uttar Pradesh, Amar singh should be there. And he is; still engaged in high level meetings the jet-setting Samajwadi Party general secretary swears to bring down the Bharatiya Janata Party. He denies that he has brokered the deal in Lucknow to topple the Kalyan Singh government and to bring in Jagdambika Pal. But he is very much in the thick of all that happens in the most populous state of the country. And when he gave an interview over the telephone to R R Nair he had no qualms about revealing his practical ideology: "I would do anything. I repeat anything, under the sun to defeat the BJP." He gives a clear indication of how politics is played in Uttar Pradesh saying that the Loktantrik Congress leader is with him right now but wouldn't know how Agarwal would behave the next hour.
Is not Mulayam Singh Yadav's fear of defeat in the elections from Sambhal the real reason for toppling the Kalyan Singh's government?
It is absolute nonsense. We would win from Sambhal with a thumping majority. This is just the BJP's fascist propaganda. As for toppling the government we did not do it. It was caused by the internal bickering of the BJP government.
Jagdambika Pal was an integral part of the Kalyan Singh government. And it is not the responsibility of Mulayam Singhb or Amar Singh to ensure that Kalyan Singh ruled for the full five year term. We naturally grab at any opportunity and that was what happened this time also.
Kalyan Singh is just a small fry for us. Our intention was to expose BJP stability plank. The BJP always claims that we had cobbled up a majority with so many disparate elements within the United Front. Then what about BJP's new allies. Isn't Jyoti Basu better than Mamta, Chandra Babu Naidu better than Lakshmi Parvati, Karunanidhi better than Jayalalitha? BJP's is a selective morality.
What should be good for Mulayam Singh should be good for Kalyan Singh too. When Mulayam Singh was not given an opportunity to prove his majority nobody said or did anything. We respect the judiciary but the case that we filed against not being allowed to prove our majority has not been settled so far. And now this case has been dealt with such speed that I only hope that all similar political cases would be settled speedily.
It is being said that the whole deal was fixed between Amar Singh and Arjun Singh. Is it true?
It is very flattering to know that I can pull down a government. I didn't do it. Jagdambika Pal and Naresh Agarwal and all the Loktantrik Congress ministers did it together. Now the Loktantrik ministers have once again proved that their loyalty is with the government of the day and power and not with anyone else. And it is for everyone to judge what kind of followers Kalyan Singh has. These former Congressmen who have been adopted by the Sangh Parivar.
What we did was what we should have done as a secular party: we gave unconditional support for the those who are ready to defeat the BJP.
Is it true that on the eve of polls immediately after Jagdambika Pal took over Mulayam Singh got an officer close to him, Bakshi, appointed as the Superintendent of Police in Sambhal?
Absolutely wrong. He was appointed by Kalyan Singh. By the time Jagdambika Pal was sworn in whatever had to be fixed was done. Till 9 pm Kalyan Singh was the chief minister and the polling started from 7 am next morning. If the whole bureaucracy which was appointed and was loyal to Kalyan Singh would become loyal to us, then it speaks volumes about my capacity and also about Kalyan Singh's incapacity to rule Uttar Pradesh.
If it comes to it will the Samajwadi Party again support Jagdambika Pal and such defectors?
We will support anybody who is ready to bring down BJP. Jagdambika Pal is just a symbol of our fight against the BJP. He was ready to take on the BJP and we gave him our support. That is it.
Will Naresh Agarwal again join hands with BJP?
Right now he is with me. But only Naresh Agarwal can say what he will do after an hour. ( Subsequently Agarwal went back to the BJP and expelled Pal from the party)
Will the Kalyan Singh government get a majority?
It is very difficult to say. It depends on his capacity to induce and buy members. And he has already proved in the past that he is capable of doing it. Even Vajpayee says that, 'we have become practical politicians now.' I leave it to you and your readers to draw a conclusion.
The BJP says that there was a conspiracy against it by all of you. Is it true?
The reason for the fall of his government was that he couldn't retain his flock and they revolted. But why do you always talk about me? Why don't you talk about Jitendra Prasada and the others?
Will the truce between Mayawati and Mulayam be a permanent one?
Mayawati will have to prove her credibility as she has gone with BJP twice in the past. We are not fully convinced about her intentions. We don't know whether it was personal vendetta against Kalyan Singh that made her ally with us now. As far as we are concerned we don't have a personal vendetta against Kalyan Singh. Our fight is purely political. But Mayawati is fighting Kalyan Singh, not the BJP.
Is something similar to what happened in UP possible at the centre if there is a hung Parliament?
I'll do anything, I repeat anything under the sun to defeat BJP.
In such a scenario will Mulayam accept Sonia as the Prime Minister?
I'll take Sonia by her word. She has said that she loves the country and that is why she has joined politics and that she doesn't want any post. I can react only to concrete situations and not on hypothetical questions.
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