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Didi awaits SP word

Calcutta, Oct. 3: Mamata Banerjee’s point man in north India has confirmed that the Trinamul Congress is yet to receive information from Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh on their participation at her Lucknow rally.

“Didi did personally invite both Mulayamji and Akhileshji for the Lucknow rally (slated for November 17) against the Congress’s anti-people policies but we are yet to receive a confirmation from their end,” K.D. Singh, a Trinamul Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand, told The Telegraph this afternoon.

Samajwadi Party sources also put a question mark on the participation of Mulayam and his son in the Trinamul-sponsored rally.

“I can’t say whether Mulayamji and Akhileshji will join Trinamul’s dharna in Lucknow against the Congress. Our party is supporting the UPA government from outside,” said Samajwadi national general secretary and MP Mohan Singh.

Chand Mohammed, the lone Samajwadi MLA from Bengal, appeared convinced that Mulayam and Akhilesh would not participate in the Trinamul event.

“After speaking to my national leaders, I am convinced that neither Mulayamji nor Akhileshji will join Mamatadi’s Lucknow rally after she shared the stage with NDA convenor Sharad Yadav in Delhi,” he said. “Our leaders must have understood that even a token presence of the two key leaders at Mamata’s rally would hurt our secular credentials.”

Samajwadi state president Vijay Singh Bhaduria said some leaders had informed the national leadership that participation in Mamata’s dharna would send a wrong message to the electorate in Bengal, “where we shall field candidates for the panchayat polls”.

Trinamul sources said Mamata was “disappointed” by the “poor turnout” at her Jantar Mantar dharna on Monday.

For the November 2 Haryana rally, the Trinamul leadership is trying bring Omprakash Chautala, chief of the principal Opposition party, National Lok Dal, said a Trinamul MP from Delhi.

Asked if the party had invited Chautala, Singh said: “We will have to take a cautious decision on the matter for a state where we are consolidating fast despite it being ruled by the Congress. Leaders of like-minded parties are definitely a priority for us”.