Veteran Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday stunned everyone including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi after he backed Narendra Modi to to become India’s prime minister again. With Sonia Gandhi seated next to him, Mulayam rose to speak in the parliament.
He said, “I want to congratulate the PM that he tried to move ahead taking everyone along. I hope all members win…We (the opposition) may not be able to secure the majority (in parliamentary polls). So, I hope that you (PM Modi) become the prime minister again.”
His comments caused a huge laughter in the parliament as a smiling Modi thanked Mulayam with folded hands. However, when the camera turned towards Mulayam’s neighbour, Gandhi, she did not appeared amused by his comments.
Mulayam, 79, has fallen out of favour with his son in managing the affairs of the Samajwadi Party and has no control over the party that he once founded and took to power in Uttar Pradesh. There are also reports of the veteran SP leader frequently suffering from memory losses.
Responding to Mulayam’s best wishes ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said, “I have done plenty of work (in the last five years), but more work need to done. I am very grateful that Mulayam Singh ji has given me his blessings.”
Today was the last day of the parliament before the Lok Sabha polls, which is expected to see a bitter fight between Modi and Mulayam’s son Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh has forged an alliance with rival Mayawati to fight the BJP in a bid to ensure that the saffron party doesn’t succeed in repeating the success of 2014, when it won 73 out of 80 parliamentary seats in the state.
Several pre-poll surveys have predicted a rout for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh if the SP-BSP combine fight elections with electoral understanding with the Congress.