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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1585

Samajwadi leader Mulayam Singh Yadav hints at early Lok Sabha polls

From R. Vasudevan—Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 24 March (Asian

Samajwadi national president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday joined the chorus with the other political giants in predicting the mid-term Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing party workers on the occasion of the birth anniversary of socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia, Mulayam exhorted party leaders to be ready for the mid-term polls which can which can take place within a year, although the term of present Lok Sabha is till 2014.

Mulayam, who has made his son Akhilesh chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and has decided to play a bigger role in the national politics, also said that era of big parties ruling the country is over and coalition politics will play a major role in the coming election as well. So far, Mulayam has been cooperating with the UPA government but giving it outside issue based support but now he has hinted that the Congress cannot take SP's support in Parliament for granted.

The SP had recently bailed out the Congress led UPA government on the issue of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha but at the same time the SP supremo had also made it clear that his party will not join the government at the Centre because its days are numbered. However, he had then also said that the SP will continue to extend issue based support to the UPA government to stop communal forces from grabbing power.

Friday's statement is being seen as Mulayam's warning to Congress that it cannot overlook the strength SP anymore, particularly after the party won the UP assembly elections with majority. Earlier, other political parties -- BJP, Akali Dal, JDU and BSP -- had also expressed the possibilities of mid-term Lok Sabha polls in view of deteriorating relations of Congress with allies like Trinmool Congress and number of scams hitting the UPA II one after another.

Significantly, Mulayam had supported UPA I and has been supporting UPA II but never got due importance from the Congress as the party and its allies had enough numbers in the Lok Sabha to run the government. However, things have changed now. Congress needs support of the SP to counter the Trinmool Congress which has been arm-twisting the government on several issues. While the Trinmool Congress has 19 members in Lok Sabha, SP has 22.

Mulayam also said on Friday that the UP government headed by his son Akhilesh will implement all the promises made in the election manifesto within a year. SP insiders said that after winning state assembly elections, party is better placed to face early Lok elections because popular mood is still in its favour in comparison to rivals. And, if Akhilesh government is able to fulfill the promises, party would win maximum Lok Sabha seats out of 80 in UP.

In State assembly elections, SP won 224 seats with nearly 30% vote share. If the party is able to maintain the support base, the 30% vote share can help it win around 45 Lok Sabha seats, more than double it won (22 seats) in 2009 general elections. It will also be more than 42 Lok Sabha seats SP won in 2004 when it was in power in the state as well. More Lok Sabha seats would mean that SP role would be crucial in formation of the government at the Centre.

- Asian Tribune -

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