Moradabad: It's proving to be a cruel, cruel summer for all political alliances. Mamata Banerjee isn't speaking to the UPA, Nitish Kumar's party has warned the BJP of a possible divorce, and headed straight for couples counselling are Mulayam Singh Yadav's party and the Congress.
Rashid Alvi, a spokesperson for the Congress, announced at a rally in Uttar Pradesh last evening that Mr Yadav is "an agent of the BJP." He elaborated, "I have been saying for the last 10 years, that if there is anyone who dances to the BJP's tune, it is Mulayam Singh."
The Congress party's spokesperson, Janardhan Dwivedi, said this morning that it does not approve of Mr Alvi's comments.
Mr Yadav's Samajwadi Party has demanded an apology from Mr Alvi, and a clarification from the Congress. Mr Yadav's brother, also a senior leader of his party, suggested another solution.
"When someone goes mad, he should be sent to the Agra Mental Asylum," he said.
Mr Yadav provides external support to the UPA, the ruling coalition led by the Congress. He recently pledged his support to Pranab Mukherjee, the Finance Minister, who is running for President as the UPA's candidate. So his party is stumped at being accused of working with the Opposition BJP. "I hope Mr Alvi has taken permission of his leader, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and other senior leaders before making such a statement. And if he has taken the support of his leader, then he should ask her why she wants the support of Samajwadi Party and Mulayam Singh ji on every issue," said the Samajwadi Party's Shahid Siddiqui.
Mr Alvi has tried to tone down his remarks by suggesting that they were made in a campaign for local municipal elections.
The UPA already has one sulking ally to contend with. Ms Banerjee has been estranged from the coalition she belongs to since she refused last week to support Mr Mukherjee as the UPA's candidate for President and decided to push for a second term for former President Abdul Kalam. However, the scientist decided not to contest the election. Ms Banerjee was double-crossed by Mr Yadav. First, they paired up to ambush the Congress by suggesting that instead of Mr Mukherjee, they would like to back the Prime Minister for president - a clear message that they have lost faith in his leadership. But then Mr Yadav secretly made up with the Congress and announced her would back Mr Mukherjee. That left Ms Banerjee shrunken and isolated.
Story first published:
June 21, 2012 08:55 IST