Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:15:00 GMT | By IANS

Is Mulayam gearing up to 'divorce' UPA?

Samajwadi Party's move to release its list of candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections signals a growing rift


Is Mulayam gearing up to 'divorce' UPA? (© Reuters)

Lucknow: Known for his wrestling moves during his days in home village Saifai, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav pulled a similar one, albeit politically, on the Congress Friday as the party released its list of 55 candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

As his cousin and party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav announced the list in the state capital, whispers of an impending "parting of ways" with the Congress were heard from Lucknow to New Delhi.

While Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari allayed speculations of snap polls, Ram Gopal Yadav said in Lucknow that his party was prepared for the Lok Sabha elections "any time they are held".

What also set the cat among the pigeons is Ram Gopal's statement that he did not rule out fielding candidates against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, both MPs from Uttar Pradesh.

While Mulayam Singh had earlier announced that his party would not pit candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, his cousin and senior party strategist Ram Gopal Yadav said he was not saying no to it right now.

Rahul Gandhi is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi while Sonia Gandhi is elected to the house from Rae Bareli.

"We are yet to release the list of remaining 25 seats. As of now I cannot rule out anything," Ram Gopal Yadav said.

The simmering disconnect between the SP and the Congress was evident when asked to comment on Rahul Gandhi being given charge of the Congress's campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Ram Gopal Yadav said: "See the history of Rahul Gandhi and you will get to know what he is capable of."

This is in stark contrast of Ram Gopal Yadav's proactive attitude in the run-up to the presidential election where he made Mulayam Singh support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

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