Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose support is propping up the government, today flaunted his interest in a Third Front by suggesting a union of parties “committed to social change” in Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
“A coalition government is the need of the country as no single party can come to power at Centre on its own strength,” he said at a function in Maharashtra.
Over the weekend, Mr Yadav praised LK Advani, the senior BJP leader, which was possibly intended to unnerve the Congress.
The party said today that Mr Yadav’s remarks in Maharashtra are not cause for concern.
“Some regional parties are such that the only politics they practice is of power, especially when situations change. But these statements are of no significance to us and don’t bother us,” Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said.
The Congress-anchored UPA has been in a minority since September when Mamata Banerjee yanked her Trinamool Congress from the mix over the Prime Minister’s economic reforms including opening the retail sector to foreign super-chains like Wal-Mart.
Last week, the DMK exited the UPA, accusing it of failing to fight for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Mr Yadav’s 22 members of the Lok Sabha are essential for the government, whose other lifeline is Mayawati. Both Mr Yadav and she do not participate in the government but furnish external support.
Mr Yadav has repeatedly said over the last few months that his party is prepping for early elections.
On the day that the DMK quit the UPA, he met with Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party is a member of the government. Between that meeting and today’s comments on regional parties needing to collaborate, there appears to be an overture from Mr Yadav to Mr Pawar, whose party co-governs Maharashtra with the Congress.