With his now-on-now-off threat to withdraw support to the UPA Government, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav has kept the Congress-led government on tenterhooks. Yadav speaks to The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla on the DMK, the Congress, his support to the UPA Government, Sonia Gandhi, the Uttar Pradesh Government and host of other issues during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:
You said Congress is a traitor party, but you’ve been supporting it for the past eight years.
Karunanidhi joined the government, following which one minister of his party was framed and sent to jail. He said that he would spill the beans and stated that it was not his decision (2G spectrum auction) alone; others were party to it too.
Who are they?
Let them be anybody, they know it. He will say it on his own, at some time he may have to say it before the court. In the same manner, we saved their government when they were facing hard times. If we had not, it would not have stayed till today.
In 2008, if you would not have saved the government...
As soon as we extended support, they let loose the CBI on me. They are using the CBI and income tax department to run the government. They betray the ones who support them.
They betrayed the DMK and you; that is what you say.
Others too have been betrayed by them.
Till now, only you have been betrayed, with CBI, income tax.
They put Karunanidhi’s daughter and their minister in jail.
You feel Congress fixed them?
How else? The government has fixed them.
Did they purposely do it and why?
How can it happen by mistake? Who has control over the CBI and income tax department?
Why did they do it?
So that people support them out of fear.
They do so because they want support of Mulayam Singh.
If I had fear, I would not have spoken out openly.
Do you think the Congress is not a party that can be trusted?
It was never a party that one could trust.
Even then you support it?
It is due to our principles that we are against communal forces.
Elections are next year in May.
It’ll not be in May, but before that.
You say elections will happen earlier.
They will be in November.
Congress spokesperson said “if we are traitors, then why are they supporting traitors?”
If they have said, the party will think about it.
You mean you are not in the mood to withdraw support.
We are not withdrawing support now.
Not in this session?
You were saying elections would be held in November but you won’t withdraw support in this session. How is that possible?
They themselves will hold elections in November.
You are tough sometimes and weak sometimes. People say you are wheeling-dealing clandestinely, like you took a tough stand on Beni Prasad Verma, demanding his resignation, but kept quiet later.
Soniaji today is a big leader of a big party. She came to my chair. They have people who act in such a manner, and then their national president has to apologise. I did not like the fact Soniaji had to apologise because it was not her fault. Kamal Nath also criticised the comments and apologised.Soniaji told you with
folded hands and you supported Pranab Mukherjee;
Soniaji told you with folded hands and you withdrew your demand for his (Verma) removal from the Cabinet.
I didn’t want to act big. It was due to the large-heartedness of Soniaji that I agreed.
In Uttar Pradesh, you say that bureaucrats are not working. You put your son under pressure. He is your obedient educated son, don’t you think this curbs his freedom?
There is no check on his freedom.
It doesn’t seem he has full freedom, he has to ask his uncle, father etc.
Can I do this being a party president? We won because of our party’s principle and our stance against corruption. Hence, if I see faults happening, then it is my right to say it. Government is not above party, party is above government.
Will you make a Third Front?
That is automatically formed after elections.
Will it not be formed pre-poll?
It can’t be, as there would be feuds over tickets in that case.
How many seats would SP win?
Let elections be held today or late, we will win so many seats that government would not be formed without its support.
Will there be no prime minister from the SP ever?
How can this be said? The party may grow stronger in future.
SP can become so strong that it can stake claim to PM’s post.
That can happen if big parties support us, which they will not.
You’ll not take BJP’s support, Congress will not support you, then you will support Congress.
We will try for third front. Deve Gowdaji had become PM of third front government.
In 2014, the PM will neither be from the Congress nor the BJP.
Yes, from neither of them.
Follow him on Twitter @PrabhuChawla