Mulayam rules out SP joining govt at the Centre

Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party, which provides outside support to the UPA government at the Centre, today ruled out joining it, dismissing speculation that the party was warming up to the Congress. "We are not joining the government," SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told a press conference here shortly after the party joined Trinamool Congress and its rival BSP in a walk out in the Lok Sabha during voting on an opposition-sponsored amendment to the President`s address.

His remarks assume significance in the context of Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh`s statement that the SP could join the government though the Congress would oppose the party in the Lok Sabha elections. To repeated questions on whether the party would join the UPA government, he said "neither have we requested the Congress to include us in the Government nor has it made such an offer so far."

When reporters pressed for a reply on whether it meant the party could consider such a move in future, he said "I have said that the question does not arise. We are not joining the Government." Yadav, who was flanked by his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary, said " Why would we join the UPA government now with only one year to go. Had we wanted to join, we would have joined it earlier."

Maintaining that his party was playing the role of opposition in Parliament, he said his party`s support to Congress was only on one issue which is to keep communal forces out of power.  Asked about Trinamool Congress` relations with Congress in the wake of trouble over the railway budget, Yadav said it was a matter between the two parties and he would not like to comment. To a question on the formation of the Third Front, he said though leaders of many prominent parties participated in the swearing in ceremony of Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister, no such plans were underway. "The presence of leaders of prominent parties should not be considered as an attempt at formation of Third Front," he said.