» Election » Mulayam-Laloo-Paswan trio swear to remain united

Mulayam-Laloo-Paswan trio swear to remain united

By Sharat Pradhan in Saefai, Etawah
April 09, 2009 15:02 IST
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Providing wings to what is being termed as the "fourth front," the recently formed trio of three regional satraps -- Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal  President Laloo Prasad Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan -- on Thursday gave their first battle cry from Saefai, Uttar Pradesh, proclaiming that they would not only remain united but would also determine the political destiny of the country.

Barely a week after they announced their decision to contest the Lok Sabha poll together, the three leaders got together at Mulayam's hometown, Saefai -- Etawah district's wonder village that Mulayam nearly transformed into a modern urban oasis in this otherwise backward belt, widely known as UP's badlands.

"We are one and will continue to remain one" was the keyword at the joint rally, that drew fabulous crowds looking full of excitement, while believing in every word of what the three leaders were busy impressing upon them.

Having struck a rapprochement after a gap of about eight years, they came by turns to reassure the crowds that their companionship was here to stay. "Nothing can separate us now", declared Mulayam , while Laloo made it a point to clarify , "We will also contest the state assembly elections together" and Paswan followed course by adding, "The united strength of the three states represented by us -- Bihar, Jharkhand and UP will determine who will occupy the prime ministers chair."

Interestingly however, each one of them sought to reaffirm their faith in the return of the United Progressive Alliance of which they claimed to eventually remain a part. Since Mulayam's Samajwadi Party was not currently a part of the ruling UPA, Laloo sought to point out, "if it were not for Mulayam Singh Yadav, the UPA government would not be sitting in power today."

While training their guns at the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, they all cleverly avoided any direct criticism of the Congress, perhaps with a view to keeping their options open to remain a part of the UPA in the post-poll scenario.

Laloo chose to attack the Congress in an oblique manner by commenting, "As far as the Congress is concerned it was still trying to set its bearings and hardly existed in the battle against us in any of our three states, so one need not bother about it."

And predicting doom for the National Democratic Alliance and the BJP, Laloo remarked, "NDA is on a disintegration path and will soon cease to exist." And in an obvious reference to Varun Gandhi, he sought to make it loud and clear that he was not scared of the criminal cases that were lodged against him on account of his criticism of Varun.

Paswan chose to train his guns more pointedly on BSP chief Mayawati, by saying, "Using the name of Ambedkar, Mayawati was busy projecting herself and now instead of Ambedkar, she was busy putting up her own statues," Paswan sought to point out.

Accusing Mayawati of allowing her "so-called" Dalit party to be completely dominated by upper caste Brahmins, Paswan said, "Mayawati was only busy making money and was least bothered about the plight of poor Dalits who were more oppressed and harrassed under her regime than ever before."

A jubiliant Mulayam remained brief and crisp as he welcomed the others on his home turf to reassure them that "nothing would separate them now."

Mulayam's man Friday Amar Singh and the party's latest star campaigner Sanjay Dutt could not make it to Saefai but joined the rest at the subsequent rallies through the day in Barielly, Gorakhpur and Varanasi, where the trio went about echoing the same message.

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Sharat Pradhan in Saefai, Etawah