Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (File photo: PTI)
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav made a revelation to The New Indian Express Editorial director Prabhu Chawla for Teekhi Baat on IBN7 that he personally met Sonia Gandhi, escaping the media glare; in the meeting the name of Pranab Mukherjee as the nominee for upcoming Presidential elections was finalized.
Hello! I am Prabhu Chawla and our guest for today on Teekhi Baat is national president of Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is affectionately known nomenclature is ‘Netaji’. Netaji welcome to our studio
MSY: Thank You, Prabhuji!
PC: Netaji, you have shown that you are a real Neta. Please tell me one thing, how did your mind change. First day you read out the name of APJ Abdul Kalam, other names, and in 48 hours you did something opposite of what you said
MSY: I did not do opposite of what I said, people may not know, but one Congress leader knows. One month earlier, there were discussions about the upcoming Presidential elections, in which I had taken Pranab Mukherjee’s name, then Congress leader said that you took name, I said that he is a very intelligent and mature personality, hence I agree on Pranab Mukherjee’s name.
PC: You mean to say you had suggested his (Pranab Mukherjee’s) name a month earlier.
PC: You are saying big leader, it means you had told this to Soniaji
MSY: No, big leader,
PC: Which other big leader is there in Congress
MSY: No, there are many big leaders
PC: What is the issue in telling the name, now there is no secret?
PC: One month ago, when you had met Soniaji, when you had food together, did the incident happen during that meeting
MSY: Laughs…If you have understood, then it is ok
PC: If not then, you would have met separately.
MSY: No, there was a meeting, it is correct that I had put forth the name (Pranab Mukherjee) before Soniaji
MSY: I put forth saying that he is the best in the Congress party, who can be the Presidential candidate.
PC: Then why together with Mamta you suggested three more names
MSY: No in politics situation change sometimes, and other leaders have to be kept together. Had taken opinion of other leaders, thought is may be possible that other leaders have a consensus about one of the three names. But they did not agree on the three names
PC: You said the name of Pranab Mukherjee from the start. You could have said his name, but when you took three names with Mamtaji, it seemed you went with her
MSY: Did not put forth names, only gave suggestions
PC: You suggested three names
MSY: One name I had already suggested.
MSY: One name I had already suggested to Soniaji.
PC: But in the three names, there was no fourth name, which you could have kept.
MSY: But the name I suggested first went through
PC: But the day you did press conference, let the misconceptions be cleared
MSY: When It seemed that Pranab Mukherjee’s name is not coming forth, then Manmohan Singh is fine, Somnath Chaterjee, Kalam is fine. I took three names, Mamtaji too took three names. But later came to know that Pranab Mukherjee’s name is acceptable. Hence, I had already agreed to Pranab Mukherjee’s name and talked about it.
PC: When you announced on Wednesday, at night you met
MSY: Kalam refused stating that he does not want to be the candidate,
PC: He never did that
MSY: Yesterday, he did
MSY: Today, it is in the newspapers
PC: From Nitish Kumar’s sources it is understood that he said nothing. But on Wednesday, you announced and the same evening, may be, you met Soniaji,
MSY: Soniaji said that you had taken his name (Pranab Mukherjee’s)
PC: You had gone and met her on Wednesday
MSY: Met her
PC: Did you met her at her residence or the Prime Ministers
MSY: I meet many times, did not meet her one time, Soniaji
PC: No, you met her in the evening on the day you announced Kalam’s name
MSY: No, not on that evening,
PC: You did not meet on Wednesday
PC: It means when you announced the name with Mamta, you did not meet Soniaji after that
MSY: After that I met
PC: I am taking after that
MSY: After that when I met, then they put forth Pranab Mukherjee’s name, and I had suggested his name (Pranab Mukherjee’s) name earlier.
PC: The day you suggested three names, that very evening
MSY: That suggestion they did not agree to
PC: Did you go to meet (Soniaji)
MSY: Did not go to meet, but I got to know that the three names are not acceptable to them. But when I met her, she said that you had taken Pranab Mukherjee’s name first,
PC: Which means you met Soniaji only once after that
MSY: Only once
PC: On the day you went to Agra
MSY: A day before I went to Agra
PC: A day before was Wednesday
MSY: A day before I went to Agra
PC: You had gone in the evening a day before your Agra visit, before that some people would have come to meet you on her behalf. Had some people met you on behalf of Soniaji.
MSY: No, nobody else met me.
PC: Some ministers would have come, Ahmed Patel would have come,
MSY: No, nobody came. When I am speaking to Soniaji directly, then what was the need for anybody to come
PC: Then Soniaji said that you had taken the name (of Pranab Mukherjee), and she also suggested his name, and you agreed
MSY: No, I have met Anthony and Ahmed Patel.
PC: Together or separately
PC: After that meeting you met Soniaji
MSY: After that I met Soniaji
PC: You would have gone on Wednesday evening at 10 Janpath
MSY: I met Soniaji
PC: But the journalists did not come to know, did you meet secretly
MSY: I did not want to go after alerting journalists
PC: I am asking because camera-wallahs are there outside her house all the time, it seems you would have used the other gate
MSY: Laughs…..would have gone anyhow …but I met.
PC: Nobody was with her that time, who was with you, Ram Gopaljee
MSY: No, nobody was there
PC: Who was with her
PC: With Soniaji
MSY: Nobody was with her
PC: How long did the meeting last
MSY: For a long time
PC: There would have been discussions on other issues too
MSY: No, no discussions on other issues.
PC: Only on the issue of Presidential elections
MSY: Only on the issue of Presidential elections
PC: What were you both talking for such a long time
MSY: Talks happen, when two people in politics meet, talks happen
PC: Now this meeting with Soniaji happened for the first time you met Soniaji at the dinner, there was not meeting in between.
MSY: No, there was no meeting in between
PC: Then there would have been many issues to talk about
MSY: Talks keep on happening
PC: Was there some other talks and decisions taken that time, please tell me the truth
MSY: No there was no talk on any other issue
PC: You spoke for such a long time
MSY: No there was no other political talk
PC: There was such a long talk on Pranab Mukherjee
MSY: It was important to talk on Pranab Mukherjee, because we had announced three names, Mamtaji and me together. Then I had understood that Pranab Mukherjee’s name is not being put forth. Hence, there is Manmohan Singh, Somnath Chaterjee, Kalam saab. These were also three good names, thought they may accept anyone from the three. But they made clear that they don’t want to accept Manmohan Singh’s name. But it is true that I had earlier discussed the name of Pranab Mukherjee with Soniaji.
PC: But did Mamtaji tell you that Pranab Mukherjee’s name had been put forth
MSY: Mamtaji, gave only three names when we met face to face.
PC:Both of you gave three names, but when Mamtaji told you, she had come to meet you after meeting Soniaji, after that
MSY: I don’t know, I did not ask her from where she is coming from.
PC: But she would have told you that she is coming after meeting Soniaji
MSY: No, did not tell
PC: Did not tell
MSY: Did not tell
PC: That she is coming after meeting Soniaji
MSY: Didn’t tell
PC: It was running on tv, live press conference
MSY: Something running on television is other issue. But when I and Mamtaji spoke, there was no mention.
PC : Hence Mamtaji did not tell you that she is coming after meeting Soniaji, and she had suggested names
MSY: I did know that she had gone to meet Soniaji
PC: But she did not tell you when she came to meet you
MSY: But I knew that she is coming after meeting Soniaji
PC: That you know, but she did not tell
MSY: Now what is the need for telling, I knew.
PC: If she would have told you that Pranabjee’s name has been taken, you would have said yes then
MSY: I did not ask what Mamtaji and Soniaji spoke regarding Pranab.
PC: She also did not tell you
MSY: She did not tell me
PC: But when you changed you mind, that you will support Pranabji, then you told Mamta when she had come to meet you on the second day, when you did not come out.
MSY: Mamtaji did not know that I have already told Pranabji’s name to Soniaji. Mamtaji did not know
PC: You did not keep your word, she also did not keep her word
PC: When she came to meet you on the second day, then you did not tell her that I have told Pranab’s same, now please move from the scene
MSY: That happened a long ago.
PC: No, am talking of when she came to meet you on the second day. She met you on the day you announced three names and again came to meet you on the second day.
PC: Did you tell her that you have changed your mind and you have already told Pranabji’s name.
MSY: No I did not tell that day
PC: Did no tell her
MSY: Did not tell her
PC: She came out, you did not
MSY: I did not come out.
PC: You did not tell her
MSY: I did not tell her. After that I spoke to Soniaji.
PC: After that you spoke to Soniaji
MSY: After that
PC: You are always with minorities, you credibility is good, don’t you feel that you changed your mind and removed Kalam’s name, who has come from minority, and got Mukherjee. Hence, don’t you feel that a wrong message will go to the minorities?
MSY: How can you say that when our party does not have the strength to make a minority one to the post
PC: You all together could have made
MSY: All together, do you think all with agree to me. Earlier, situation was when I took Kalam’s name, Ataji accepted, Atalji’s party was big, and NDA was in majority, hence Kalam saab became. But this time neither Congress party not we have power. Then how could what I said been agreed to. There is UPA, NDA and were are neither in NDA and UPA.
PC: You cannot go to NDA
MSY: NDA, UPA we cannot join either of them.
PC: But Mamtaji is part of UPA
MSY: Samajwadi Party is alone.
PC: You are supporting UPA government
MSY: We are supporting UPA government but, we are not in UPA.
PC: You are out of UPA, but please tell me one thing, people talk many things, among newspaperwallahs too that you were threatened, that cases would be done against you,
MSY: Nobody has threatened me, nor I get afraid by any threatening. If I would have been getting afraid by somebody threatening us, then the work we have done in politics, could I have come this far.
PC: You are saying that there was no deal, you were not threatened, you had suggested Pranab Mukherjee’s name earlier, hence when she put forth that name again, you agreed.
MSY: It is true, nobody threatened me, nor I have done any deal. I thought a very experienced and intelligent leader, who we have seen in the Lok Sabha, his behaviour as a leader of the house, his decency and simplicity, agreeing to the right thing, it is a big thing.
PC: But Kalam saab is also a good man
MSY: Kalam sahab has already been (President) one time.
PC: When you took Kalam’s name, it seemed he could also have been
MSY: I took his name, but he could not have been
PC: Could not have been, if he could have been would you have supported him
MSY: It would have been a different issue if he could have been. Then it could have been thought of. But I knew that Kalam saab could not have gone through. Because, he did not Congress party’s support.
PC: Without Congress’s support too he could have won. Congress has 20-25 per cent votes , not more
MSY: They have votes, UPA has majority
PC: If there is no Mamta and Mulayam’s support,
MSY: But UPA is in majority. If we don’t support, UPA is still there.
PC: Then the government will fall. If you don’t support the government will fall Netaji
MSY: UPA has majority,
PC: UPA is not in majority
MSY: No, it is in majority
PC: I can make out count the numbers. But coming back to the topic, on this issue there was no pressure, no deal, but why did you compromise
MSY: I personally like Pranab Mukherjee.
PC: How will you benefit
MSY: On such occasions, profit or loss is not seen
PC: You said that there is no deal, but there are whispers that there would have been suggestions for Mulayam Singhji becoming Vice President. He can become in this manner
MSY: There is no question. There is no question of me becoming Vice President. There is no question of being part of the government
PC: Samajwadi Party will keep on giving support from outside, will not be part of the government
MSY: Will not be part of the government
PC: In 2014
MSY: In 2014, Samajwadi Party will contest elections on its own
PC: Before 2014, you will not withdraw support, under any circumstances.
MSY: There question of withdrawing support arises when they do any anti national thing, any anti people thing, then this can be thought of. Till they are not doing nay anti national, anti people thing, till then support is there
PC: Mayawatiji has said that this government is anti people, but she will keep on supporting it. You think government is not any people, inflation is not increasing, petrol prices are not increasing, there is no corruption, this government is good.
MSY: No, the government is not very good. But issue question is that it is not fair to hold elections now.
PC: But the way you have won in UP, the people of UP have given you such a big mandate, don’t you think that people would like to send your people thinking that it should have an influence at the centre, or will you keep on blackmailing from outside
MSY: Will prepare for 2014 so that Samajwadi Party members win lok sabha seats with huge majority.
PC: You can have losses of supporting Congress till 2014.
MSY: Our support is on fair, unfair. If there is some unfair issue, we cannot support it.
PC: If you have to give this government number on a scale of 10, how many will you give this government?
MSY: It is true that inflation has increased during the tenure of this government, the government has not been able to stop corruption,
PC: Is the government fail or pass.
MSY: The people would give marks to the government in the test in 2014,stating whether it is good or bad.
PC: No I am talking of today
MSY: As far as we are concerned, we are supporting on only one issue, no to let the communal forces come forward.
PC: Communal forces, BJP has 116 seats, from where they would be able to form the government
MSY: There is NDA, there are many parties in addition to BJP
PC: 148 are there in total in NDA
MSY: How many in NDA
PC: How can the government be formed with 148 seats
MSY: There is Bal Thackerayjee’s party
PC: But the total is 148
MSY: Even they are supporting
PC: 148 total
MSY: There are other supporters
PC: Where, you are not supporting , Mayawati is not, communists are not. This you are using as an excuse
MSY: The people do not want elections now. The people want elections straight in 2014.
PC: Is the government fail or pass, do Teekhi Baat.
MSY: As far as the government is concerned, the government has not been able to fulfil the expectations of the people.
PC: Could not do
PC: Even then you will keep on supporting it to keep communal forces at bay.
MSY: Only on that issue. You would have seen, when I was giving speeches, did you feel I am supporting. On day one of my colleagues asked, your are criticizing the government so much, and you are supporting, I said No, our support is only to stop Advani sahab . This I have said in the house. I said I have given no support.
PC: You are saying that you are supporting the government to keep Advani saab out,
MSY: That’s all. Like somehow the BJP will bring a no confidence motion, or on any issue, then we cannot support BJP. But on other issues, we have not voted for them,
PC: When you will take back the support,
MSY: No, on many issues I have not supported Congress party
PC: In what condition will you make the government fall, if things came to such a pass
MSY: How can we make it fall,
PC: The day you take back support, the government will be in minority.
MSY: It cannot happen. BSP is supporting
PC: Both together it is 280, if you withdraw, then they are less. But you do not think the time has come to withdraw,
MSY: The people want to see elections in 2014.
PC: Did you make efforts to get some package for your UP government, is there some deal on that,
MSY: UP did not get, till now they have not given one rupee. Pranab Mukherjee was finance minister, did not get any money, then Akhilesh met Prime Minister, even I spoke to Prime Minister, Pranab Mukherjee also, but not getting anything
PC: Tell me one thing , you formed the government, you yourself did not become chief minister, people voted for you, you made your son, why did you do this?
MSY: Akhilesh and my vote is the same.
PC: But till a day before Akhilesh was telling me that you will become
MSY: I have been chief minister for three time, now I have no liking to be chief minister.
PC: Even then people say that let the chief minister be Akhilesh, but the government is of Mulayam Singh, the ministers are his.
MSY: If I am the president of Samajwadi Party, then the party is of SP, the president is for all
PC: But the chief minister runs the government, you can guide him, your blessings can be there, but people feel that even now Mulayam Singh Yadav is running the government
MSY: That is wrong, there is a conspiracy to publicize these things,
PC: You have given him full freedom
MSY: Have given full freedom, and I interfere nowhere. Now I am out since three days, in these four days, I did not speak to Akhilesh pertaining to the government.
PC: But among his ministers there should be young people, which are not there, all are old, people who have worked with you, majority of those people are there.
MSY: No, no he is working in his own manner,
PC: Because with him all uncle ministers are there. Out of fear Akhilesh would not be able to tell them to work, do something.
MSY: No that is not the case, that is not the case, all ministers are working well.
PC: You feel you have given full freedom to Akhilesh
MSY: Full freedom.
PC: You do not interfere at all
MSY: No interfering anywhere
PC: Do you feel he will be successful
MSY: Certainly, I have confidence, he will be successful