I prefer jail than joining hands with Cong: Mulayam

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Meerut, UP, Oct 31: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today asserted that he would rather prefer jail than joining hands with the Congress and claimed that the newly-formed United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) would contest the next Lok Sabha elections together.

Addressing reporters on the eve of his party's three-day state-level convention in this west Uttar Pradesh town, Mr Yadav denied that he had received a ''proposal'' from the Congress to join hands. ''Their only proposal is to jail me and in fact I would prefer jail than joining hands with them.'' The former chief minister claimed that the CBI was being used as a tool by the Congress to target him, especially after he became the chairman of UNPA. ''I would like to thank the media for highlighting the role of the CBI,'' he added. He also slammed the CBI for its poor investigations into the Bofors case and the more recent Taj Heritage Corridor scam in which UP Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati is an accused.

To a poser on the future role of UNPA, Mr Yadav said his newly-formed grouping should be called the ''First Front'' and not the Third Front. ''It will win a majority in the next Lok Sabha elections,'' he said in reply and did not rule out mid-term polls.

''We are ready whenever the elections are held,'' he added.

He said the UNPA would contest the Lok Sabha polls together.

''More parties may join us even the UPA constituents are close to us and would continue to remain close to us,'' he said to a poser.


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