The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wary SP circles prey

Lucknow, Aug. 25: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav appears to be banking on a group of recalcitrant BJP legislators to take his fight against Mayavati to the finish.

But with the prospect of ruling Uttar Pradesh actually beckoning him, Mulayam today sounded somewhat wary.

“The BJP is as unreliable as the BSP,” Mulayam said when asked if he had been approached by the RSS and the BJP to prop up an alternative government.

“We have all along said that we are the only party which should have been asked to form the government as the largest party. But we are not prepared to compromise on the issue of secularism,” he said.

Instead of accepting the BJP bait, Mulayam has decided to watch how the Vajpayee government and the central BJP leadership sort out the crisis.

“At the first inkling of a dissolution of the House and fresh elections, not only the BSP but a large chunk of the BJP is ready to break away and join us,” one of his close lieutenants said.

In the Samajwadi’s view, neither the BJP nor the Congress or the RLD are in a position to face elections. “With her overflowing coffers and his Dalit followers blindly behind her, BSP leader Mayavati may be ready to go to polls, but a large chunk of her MLAs are jittery and may prefer to leave the sunk ship,” a senior leader said.

With the Congress and the RLD behind him, Mulayam already has the support of 172 MLAs in the 403-member House.

“We had been promised support by many BSP and BJP MLAs and would have toppled the Mayavati government on the first day of the House,” boasted state Samajwadi general secretary Shiv Pal Singh Yadav.

The Samajwadi now wants the governor to ask the single largest party to form the government. “Let Shastri do it tomorrow, and we’ll prove that we have more than the required numbers with us, without any help from the BJP leaders,” said Samajwadi state chief Ram Sharan Das.

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