New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) In a bid to contain the advancing common enemy, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party have opened channels of dialogue to put up a joint front.
Though the SP was keen for an electoral tie-up with the Congress in the last year's Assembly elections too, the latter had found no attraction in the proposal.
The change in the Congress attitude is being seen as the understandable response to the party's crushing defeat in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections where the BSP played a spoil sport for the party, and the need to save its base in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jhgarkhand and Maharashtra.
''Congressmen have spoken to our party leaders, but so far no formal meetings have taken place, and then the final decision has to be taken by the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) of which we are a part'' SP chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has said.
''We cannot go with the NDA, so if needed, we would go only with the Congress,'' Mr Yadav told Hindi weekly 'Outlook' in an interview.
He said the SP wants only a secular government, so they would never want to help in the formation of a government run by parties with obvious communal ideologies.
''It is only on this ground that we gave support to the Congress without any conditions at the Centre,'' said Mr Yadav.
The SP leader put the blame for the BSP's rise on the Congress itself. ''It is only the Congress that has helped in the creation of the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh,'' he said insunuating the Congress reluctance to join hands with his party in the last elections in the state.
The BSP strikes at the base of only the Congress. Our base is intaact and the SP has no problems, he said.
Replying to a question, he said BSP was not a political party at all .' It is just a conglomeration of those with money. it has no policy, no programme. The victory has gone into their head. But it is just a clear majority, not an overwhelming majority,'' he said.
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