Rejecting the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Indian National Congress for the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav today said that he will not campaign for them as he believes that SP is capable enough to fight alone.
Noting he had advised his son against entering into an electoral alliance with the Congress, Mulayam Singh said it was most unfortunate that Akhilesh Yadav had done so in his quest to grab power.
"I am completely against the alliance. I will not campaign for it," Mulayam said on a day his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi held their first joint press conference in Lucknow and held a road show displaying great bonhomie.
Mulayam, who had rejected the possibility of an alliance for the assembly polls before being deposed as party president by Akhilesh, said, "Congress ruled the country for a long time and made it laggard. We always fought against Congress."
"Samajwadi Party is capable of contesting elections alone. In the past, it fought alone and formed government with a majority. No occasion arose for effecting an alliance," he said.
"The 2012 election was fought on my face and we got a majority. I was to become the Chief Minister but I opted for Akhilesh and look what he has done," he rued.
After the Election Commission settled the dispute between Mulayam and Akhilesh in the latter's favour, the SP patriarch had submitted a list of 38 candidates to his son but chosen not to field nominees separately.
Earlier in the day, at a joint press conference, Akhilesh and Rahul, asked if they would take along leaders like Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh with them during campaigning, had side-stepped it.
While Akhilesh Yadav had responded by saying that he would prefer having their blessings while Gandhi said that he would not like to discuss operational matters in public.
The decision of Mulayam Singh is likely to impact the alliance as he is still a very important name in state politics. UP goes to polls between February 11 and March 8 in a seven-phased election.
(With agencies inputs)