SP leader all praise for Atal Bihari Vajpayee, NDA

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New Delhi, Mar 20: The Samajwadi Party (SP) might be supporting the central government from outside despite a prominent constituent pulling out of the UPA but it surprisingly believes that the NDA was a better coalition.

Even as five ministers belonging to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) exited from the union cabinet on Wednesday, SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said that right now his party is backing the Congress-led government at the Centre.

"I cannot state with certainty how long our support will continue. Who knows what will happen in the future? Anyway, our party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will decide in this regard," he told a leading news channel.

"In politics, anything is possible. It all depends on the leadership. If they are strong and decisive, then others will ally with them. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was able to take politicians of different political persuasions along with him," Ram Gopal Yadav noted.

"In the present (UPA) government, the people do not feel at all that Manmohan Singh is the prime minister. The general impression is that he is being remote controlled. Allies of the Congress are shocked by the government's decisions often. Senior leaders like Sharad Pawar are sometimes kept in the dark," he said.

Ram Gopal Yadav

His comments indicate that the Samajwadi Party is upset with the ruling party. Recently, Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma created problems for the Congress leadership by alleging that Mulayam Singh Yadav has links with terrorists.

SP reacted by saying that Verma "has gone mad... he needs to see a psychiatrist." Afraid that his statement may lead to the downfall of the central government especially at a time when DMK was upping the ante, the Congress high command forced Verma to express "regret".

However, Verma compounded his party's woes by accusing Mulayam Singh Yadav of accepting a commission from the Congress for offering outside support to the UPA government. In response, SP chief challenged the ruling party to clarify "how much commission" was paid to him by them.

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