Miffed Mulayam turns LK admirer

Uses the BJP patriarch’s comments to lash out at his son Akhilesh for tarnishing the image of the SP govt.

Lucknow : Clearly all is not well as far as SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ties with the UPA government are concerned. Hurt with Beni Prasad’s continuing diatribe even on Saturday, Mulayam on Saturday chose to heap praise on senior BJP leader L K Advani, close on the heels of another SP leader hailing Atal Bihari Vajpayee and terming the erstwhile NDA government as “more cohesive”. The move is aimed at keeping the UPA government on tenterhooks which is already weakened after the DMK’s pullout.

Miffed Mulayam turns LK admirer

Yadav’s praise for Advani comes days after SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav had said the former BJP-led NDA government was “more cohesive” and Vajpayee’s style of functioning better.

He also handed over yet another bit of advice to his Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav – review the performance of his government and ministers, take corrective action and improve his image, otherwise he may not come back to power again.

More surprising than these strong words was the context in which Yadav used them. This warning came, he said, because senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani had told him that Uttar Pradesh was in a bad shape. “A senior leader like Advani never lies, he always speaks the truth, and I will tell him that I have conveyed this to you,” he told Akhilesh at a public meeting after a function to mark the 103rd birth anniversary of Socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia.

Mulayam took this opportunity to lash out at ministers and officers for being lax in their work and thus tarnishing the image of Samajwadi Party government. They were indulging in mere sycophancy and not performing, he said, and advised Akhilesh to be a strict administrator.

“Remember, the government is not run by being soft or flexible… you have to take a tough stand at times,” he said.

Referring to Advani, he said “when a senior leader like Advani sahib says corruption is rampant in UP, then it needs a serious thought.”

He said police stations and tehsil offices were the biggest centres of corruption. “There should be a sense of fear among

the officers that if they do not work they would be punished. This is how administration is run. The Chief Minister must undertake a review and initiate stern action against the district magistrates and police chiefs wherever irregularities are detected.”

He also chided ministers and party leaders saying that those who had toiled to ensure the party’’s victory in the Assembly election had been relegated to the backgrounds and sycophants were in the forefront.

Mulayam also attacked the Congress and the Central government, saying that the crime rate was much higher in Delhi but no one talked about it. “The government at the Centre is one of cowards, they do not even have the courage to protect the country’s borders.”

Incidentally, Mulayam’’s admiration for Advani comes close on the heels of a statement by the SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav a few days ago, when he said the performance of the BJP-led NDA government under Atal Behari Vajpayee’s leadership was much better than that of the UPA, and that Vajpayee’s style of functioning was better.

The Congress meanwhile steered clear of Mulayam’s praise of BJP leader L K Advani.  “We do not want to say anything. It may be the thinking of their party and not that of Congress. Can anyone stop anyone from making any statement”? party spokesman Rashid Alvi told reporters.

Fresh beni jibe

Lucknow: After a brief lull, Union minister Beni Prasad Verma on Saturday day launched another tirade against Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying those “serving family interest” cannot be termed as socialists. Five days after he came under fire over his remark that Mulayam allegedly has “terrorist links”, Beni today said, “Those who are serving the interest of their family cannot be termed as socialists.” The Union minister was addressing a party’s ‘dharna’ against UP government’s “failures” and “dismal” law and order situation in the state. “How can they think of society and common man when they are concerned only about themselves and their family,” Beni said without naming anyone. “In reality, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indiraji were the real socialists who had followed socialism,” he claimed.

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