'Manmohan should not threaten the Opposition'
By Prabhu Chawla
23rd September 2012 12:03 AM
My party opposes the anti-people decisions of the UPA, and we may even move a resolution in Parliament against them, Samajwadi Party leader, Mulayam Singh Yadav tells The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla during Teekhi Baat on IBN 7. Excerpts:
Is it true that your party men believe that you should be and are going to be Prime Minister?
I cannot speak on this issue because becoming a Prime Minister is no ordinary event. And if there is a feeling among party workers, some journalist friends, I respect those feelings.
If you get a chance, you will keep in mind the feelings of party workers. You said it is difficult, but what if you get a chance?
I don’t see any chance.
Do your party men believe that your number of MPs will increase in the next Lok Sabha?
Lok Sabha members would increase. But I have not given thought to whether I will become Prime Minister.
You made Deve Gowda Prime Minister. You supported Gujral sahab too…
I did, and Comrade Surjeet was with me, he extended support.
Surjeet also proposed your name...
Surjeet also proposed my name. But when I took Deve Gowda’s name, Surjeet sahab supported me.
When he took your name first, you should have become PM…
Some people opposed me. There is no need to take their names. The whole country knows who they were.
Let me come to the current political scenario, you would have listened to PM’s speech yesterday. He said that we will not take back the decisions on FDI, hike in diesel prices and other works that we did, and will take more tough measures. Do you agree?
The Prime Minister should not issue threats in this manner. He said that the decisions taken are in farmers’ interest, but they are against the interest of farmers. The whole decision is anti-farmer.
But he said that the people who are opposing these decisions, including you, are really misleading the people.
We were not alone in opposing it; there were eight parties. The entire Opposition was opposing the move.
Are you misleading the people?
In a democracy, the PM should have called Opposition leaders to make them understand and explain what he would say. We could have given our opinion regarding some changes needed. Then, respect for the PM would have increased. But he is threatening now.
He also said that money does not grow on trees, and that the expenditure of the government has increased…
I don’t know if he was angry or what the reason was. But looking at the way he was speaking, he did not seem normal. Prime Minister is Prime Minister, if he says, we will listen, to disagree with, to oppose policies is the job of the Opposition. But he should have spoken in a good manner.
He made it clear yesterday, any amount of protests will not dissuade the government from its economic plans…
I will speak for the public. I will tell people that the decision is against the interest of farmers and the poor.
What pressure you would build on the government to take back these policies?
Whether they take the policies back or not, we will maintain that the policies are not in interest of the nation.
You can bring a proposal in the Parliament...
We will oppose in Parliament when the session is held.
If you have 20-22 MPs, you can bring a proposal demanding that the government should go back on these steps.
We will speak against their policies which are wrong. But we work to keep communal forces at bay, and if will pull out support now…
I am saying that the government will not fall if you bring a proposal on rollback of these policies
When the Lok Sabha session is on, we will call a party meeting and take a decision on this. Then there are leaders of other parties; we will speak to them. It will not work if we are alone.
Mamata said she will bring a proposal that these policies need to be withdrawn. What if she introduces a proposal that FDI should be rolled back, and diesel prices should be cut.
We will not oppose the proposal tabled by Mamataji.
Will you support it?
What does it mean if I am saying I will not oppose?
What if you abstain?
We will support, and it is possible that our party tables such a proposal. May be if the government is enlightened, they will take back the policy before such a proposal is tabled.
You explain your support for this government in terms of preventing communal forces from coming to power. How can the BJP with 116 seats form a government?
They have other supporters too.
Even then the tally is 150...
No, it is more than 150.
May be 160, 180, but you have to make it clear to people and media that a government of communal forces cannot be formed in this Lok Sabha. You are not withdrawing support, when according to you all policies of Congress are anti-people, anti-aam aadmi.
We will vote against these policies, will speak against these policies. We will do all that
But you will not withdraw your support to the government.
This is not the time to withdraw support. We appeal to the Prime Minister to roll back his decision before the matter comes up in the Lok Sabha.
Will be responsible for what happens in the Lok Sabha after that?
We will oppose, that is why we want them to take it back before.
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