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Mulayam terms Kalyan tie-up as "bond of friendship"

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | February 03, 2009 02:38 IST

Unmindful of the deep resentment within his own ranks and file against his new found bonhomie with once sowrn political adversary and rebel Bhartiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh [Images] , Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav [Images] on Monday termed his relationship with Kalyan as a "bond of friendship."

The SP chief told a press conference, "This is not an electoral pact or a political arrangement, but a bond of friendship between me and him."

Coming out in defence of the currently much debated "kalyan deal," Mulayam not only ruled out alienation of Muslims with the Samajwadi Party but even went about proclaiming, "this relationship would only strengthen our party by adding on the support of a large chunk of the oppressed and deprived classes."

Claiming the Kalyan's exit from BJP would weaken the party , he sought to emphasise, "my mission is to  weaken the BJP because it represents only communal forces and I am firmly of the view that if even bigger BJP leaders were to leave that party and express their desire to join me, I would welcome them with open arms to serve that objective."

He also claimed that his proximity with Kalyan will not affect the on-going talks with the Congress for an electoral alliance before the next Lok Sabha poll. "I am sure this will not pose any hurdle in our prospective alliance with the Congress," he emphasised.

Asked to comment on the disillusionment of some of his party's Muslim leaders on that account, Mulayam shot back, "well none other than the media was responsible for creating that confusion."

Reading out excerpts from different papers, he sought to clarify, "Misquoting me, some of the newspapers went about projecting  that I had given Kalyan Singh a clean chit in the Babri Mosque demolition case,  that was far from truth. All that I had emphasized was that as then chief minister, it was Kalyan Singh's moral responsibility to save the mosque."

Mulayam sought to point out, "It was in view of his moral responsibility that Kalyan Singh had then stepped down from office."  However when a scribe drew Mulayam's attention to  the fact that Kalyan Singh government was actually  dismissed by the center, he continued to  insist, "but he had also resigned."

Much to everyone's astonishment, the SP chief, who had once acquired the sobriquet of "Maulana Mulayam" was now ready to hold any brief for Kalyan with whom he had been at loggerheads essentially on account of the same mosque-temple issue.

He however declined to make any comment on the recent statement of his party's prominent Muslim leader Azam Khan, who had made it loud and clear that he would not have any truck with those responsible for the demolition of the Babri Mosque. "I am confident that he will not remain misguided anymore and will understand the reality," he hoped.

While the temple controversy had dominated the politics of Uttar Pradesh [Images] in several elections, Mulayam was confident that it was a dead issue now.

"Other than the BJP, the Babri Masji-Ram Mandir are no more any issue for the people of the state anymore," he claimed.

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