In price hikes, SP and BSP smell Centre’s plan for early elections

Slamming the partial deregulation of diesel prices and demanding the government to re-visit the decision, the SP and the BSP, both of which are providing outside support to the UPA government, on Friday apprehended early elections after the conclusion of the budget session. But they asserted that they will not offer the ruling Congress an "excuse" to claim the status of having been "martyred".

"The government is weak and does not appear to be in a position to continue for long and may have to go in for early elections. That is why they are taking these kinds of decisions (diesel price deregulation and rail price hike) ahead of Budget session. I feel they will come out with a budget to lure the electorate and go in for polls," BSP chief Mayawati said.

She demanded that the government "reconsider" the diesel price hike.

Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP also attacked the government for the diesel price deregulation.

"This government appears to have lost all hope and there is a likelihood it will go to polls soon after the budget. Even otherwise, the government will be forced to go to the electorate after the budget session," SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said.

While both these parties, crucial for the survival of the government, apprehended early elections, they refrained from committing to pull out their outside support to the government.

"We (BSP) do not want the government to come out with an excuse that they wanted to do a miracle in the remaining period of ite tenure. The BSP will give them all opportunity to do this miracle and then we will expose their claims during the Lok Sabha elections," Mayawati said in response to queries whether BSP will consider pulling out support on these issues.

Likewise, the SP general secretary said his party did not want to give the Congress an opportunity to claim itself to be a "martyr" when it was already on its way out.

... contd.

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