Mulayam Singh on Saturday once again put the government on the back foot on the fate of its retail FDI decision by declaring to lend the Samajwadi Party’s support to a resolution in Parliament which the Trinamool Congress is planning to bring against it.
His threatening posture just a day after declaring support to the government made the Congress leaders sit up assess the new game he is trying to play by going out of his way to befriend leaders of various parties, except the Bhartiya Janata Party.
The Congress is banking on SP’s support but is worried that it will be a loss of face for prime minister Manmohan Singh if Mulayam’s trips around the country to bring together the anti-Congress players result in the Lok Sabha passing the TMC resolution rejecting FDI in the multibrand retails.
Though Yadav refused to delve details of his meeting with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday, sources say, he was planning to tour the country before taking any plunge. This was made clear by the SAD spokesman Balwant Singh Ramoovalia who said the SP supremo had come with some ideas. He, however, rejected any idea to join any third front. “We are part of the NDA and would continue to lend support to the BJP-led coalition. Today’s meeting was part of Mulayam ji’s efforts to consult all national leaders on important issues confronting the country,” he told DNA.
Yadav also said his association with the Badals was old as Prakash Singh Badal was a close associate of Chaudhury Charan Singh.
Asked whether the meeting was part of his efforts to form a third front, Yadav said there were “no efforts” to form such an alliance. On whether he plans to bring a resolution in Parliament against the FDI in multi-brand retail, he said, “There is no proposal so far” and that he will not oppose a resolution in Parliament against FD in multi-brand retail.
Later, while speaking to a TV channel, he said he would back the resolution. He said the party’s parliamentary strategy will be decided ahead of the winter session. “Mamata ji is secular. If she brings in a resolution in the House against FDI, we will not oppose it. We will hold a parliamentary board meeting. We will speak to like-minded parties on the matter. We will support her. It is also possible that our party may bring in the resolution,” the SP supremo said.
He also made it clear that he will demand the roll back of FDI.