UP Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, holding him responsible for India’s economic crisis. He also said that though the SP has extended its support to the UPA government to keep communal forces out, the party is ready to face Lok Sabha elections any time.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Friday on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail, Akhilesh on Saturday said “his party is opposing FDI because it is not good for small farmers and traders”.
He said that Manmohan Singh is a renowned economist and has been the Prime Minister since 2004, but now the PM is saying that India’s economic situation has gone from bad to worse. “The question is who is responsible. The ruler or the people?” Akhilesh said.
When asked about SP chief ’s flip-flop on supporting the UPA-2 and third front, Akhilesh told reporters that the SP does not want the communal forces to take advantage of the present crisis. But, at the same time, the party cannot overlook the interest of small farmers and traders on the issue of the FDI in multi-brand retail.
Regarding early Lok Sabha elections, he said that the SP is ready for polls whether they take place now or later.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was quoted by a news channel as saying that he would back a resolution against FDI that Trinamool Congress has announced to bring in Parliament.
However, he later told reporters that the issue would be decided when the resolution comes up.
While TMC and SP are both opposed to FDI, Yadav said, “We are protesting against FDI. She is protesting in her own way.”
Though not confirming that SP would throw its lot with opposition, even the open-ended statement was enough to interest the anti-UPA forces, which have decided to move its battle against FDI to Parliament.
While Trinamool, which exited the UPA in protest, has said it would try to show that government lacks majority support on the move to bring in foreign retailers, BJP has said it would bring in a special resolution.
The Left bloc may be for voting for the resolution as could be BSP since the resolution would not bring down the government. The resultant opposition unity would form a potent anti-FDI bloc in Parliament as was evident during Thursday’s protest. In such a scenario, SP, along with BSP, can tilt the balance in favour of the government.
The CPM scotched speculation of renewed efforts to form a Third Front with non-Congress, non-BJP parties. Given their past experience, CPM is wary of a Third Front including regional parties. CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said, “We will have joint movements and cooperate with non-Congress and non-BJP parties on an issue-to-issue basis both in Parliament and outside. We can have united actions on people’s issues to widen the movement (as in the case of opposition to FDI and diesel price hike).”