Samajwadi Party open to tie-ups for 2019 LS polls

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New Delhi, Dec 11: Samajwadi Party (SP) is open for tie-up for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday even as he ruled out the possibility of forging alliance with any party for 2017 state assembly polls.

Speaking during 'Agenda Aaj Tak' conference here, Akhilesh reiterated that he would like to see his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav don the role of Central leader after 2019 elections.

Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh indirectly ruled out possibility of SP heading into next Lok Sabha election under Nitish Kumar, contending that the Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had considered his father as their leader when the grand alliance came into being.

"We are ready for the assembly polls. We are keeping eye on 2019 polls too. We will get clear majority in (assembly polls). So, no alliance for the state election. But it will be good if anyone is interested in joining us for upcoming elections of 2019," Akhilesh said.

Akhilesh expressed confidence that "someone" from UP will play the role of Central leader during the 2019 polls and wished the person to be a samajwadi (socialist).

Asked if his party will accept Nitish Kumar as the leader going into the next general elections, Akhilesh said, "When the grand alliance (ahead of Bihar polls) took shape, Netaji was its president.

All the leaders made him the president. But on internal politics, only Netaji can speak, I cannot….why SP pulled off…But both Nitish and Laloo had considered him as their leader."

Akhilesh said SP will face assembly polls, which he termed as "more than agni pariksha" (acid test) on the back of "developmental" works its government has done as he listed projects his dispensation completed/has proposed.

The Chief Minister termed as "big verdict" BJP-led NDA's drubbing in the recent Bihar elections, but added it was voters in Uttar Pradesh who had defeated "communal forces" in the state first. 

On being asked if SP, which had pulled out of grand alliance for Bihar elections, learnt a "lesson" from the poll results there, Akhilesh said it were the "fissiparous" forces which needed to take lessons from the outcome as he referred to Dadri episode and demands of ban on cow slaughter - though without naming any organisaiton.

When an attendee at the event asked the SP leader whether it was acceptable to him if Rahul Gandhi was made Prime Minister and himself as his deputy, Akhilesh referred to the offer he had made to the Congress vice president last week.

"See, I had given that formula (Mulayam as Prime Minister and Rahul as Deputy Prime Minister). My father made me a Chief Minister. So, I will do something for my father," he joked.

When questioned about RSS reiterating its stand of constructing Ram temple in Ayodhya, the SP leader said, "people of Uttar Pradesh are sensible. They were deceived by acche din talk once, but that will not work with them now."

Akhilesh also dismissed a question that his party worked as "shock absorber" for NDA headed by BJP during Bihar election, saying the Amit Shah-led party and SP were "completely different" outfits in nature.

Akhilesh avoided speaking directly when asked if SP will support NDA Government over GST and said his party was in favour of a formula that will "not affect states and people".

When one of the attendees asked why SP doesn't control its leader Azam Khan from allegedly making "vicious" statements as it embarrasses Muslims in the country, Akhilesh defended his cabinet minister saying, "You don't listen to him completely. None speaks sweeter than him."

He reiterated his government carried out developmental works in constituencies led by leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sonia Gandhi. To a teaser why SP leaders were "afraid" of CBI, Akhilesh said in a lighter vein, "Congress people can tell you better about it".


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