New Delhi, Marsh 29: On his way back to India from South Africa last night, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted there was the possibility that Samajawadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav might pull the rug from under the Congress-led UPA government, but also said he was confident his government would complete its full term.
“Obviously coalitions face issues. Sometimes, they give the impression that these arrangements are not very stable and I cannot deny that those possibilities exist. But I am confident our government will complete five years and that the next Lok Sabha elections will take place on schedule,” Dr Singh said on board Air India One while returning from the BRICS summit in Durban. (Third term as PM hypothetical: Manmohan Singh)
General elections are due in mid-2014, but the UPA losing two important allies in the Trinamool Congress and the DMK in less than a year – the latter only last week – has meant it depends heavily on allies like Mulayam Singh and Mayawati, who provide external support.
On Thursday, the SP chief asked his partymen to prepare for elections, saying they could be held as early as in November this year. He also said he saw a non-Congress, non-BJP Third Front coalition forming the next government at the Centre. All through last week, Mr Yadav has made several statements that indicate he is rethinking the support he provides to the UPA.
Congress spokesperson and Union Minister Manish Tewari says Mulayam Singh Yadav needs to decide “if he wants to support secular forces or communal parties”.
Dr Singh also admitted last evening that being reduced to a minority has meant that his government does not have the numbers to push key legislation in Parliament, but promised that he would not allow the reforms he has begun to derail.
“We certainly have to take into account the fact that we don’t have the majority to get Parliament to approve some of our reform proposals. So, we are certainly dependent on the goodwill of our allies and I would be the last one to deny that there are uncertainties,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “But even then, we are confident the reforms that matter, and which are going to yield results in the next few months, we will be able to push them.”