Mulayam Singh Yadav's comment may not please his son Akhilesh Yadav, one of the main players in efforts to forge a grand opposition coalition to take on PM Modi and the BJP in the national election.
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, in a jaw-dropping departure from the opposition chorus and his own party line, wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi a return to power after the national election as the current Lok Sabha met for the last time. His supporters later swore it was all in humour, but the comment raised many eyebrows.
His exact words were: "Meri kaamna hai ki pradhaanmantri ji aap phirse pradhaanmantri banein. Mera anubhav hai ki main jab bhi aap se mila, aapne turant mera kaam kiya [I wish that PM Modi, you should become the prime minister again. I have experienced that whenever I met you, you got my work done instantly.. The camera panned to his immediate neighbor, an unsmiling Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, and PM Modi, chuckling and thumping his desk.
He also said "Its not easy to listen everyone's demand and fulfill them yet no one ever has raised any objection with in the team and that's the quality a leader should possess"
PM Modi responded when he took the floor to deliver his speech: "There is much to do. And Mulayam Singhji has given his blessings. I am very grateful to him."
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, asked to react, said he disagreed, certainly, but "Mulayam Singh Yadav Ji has a role in politics and I respect his opinion".
Few have taken the comment seriously; Mulayam Singh had the same wish for outgoing PM Manmohan Singh in 2014.
The comment may not please his son Akhilesh Yadav, one of the main players in efforts to forge a grand opposition coalition to take on PM Modi and the BJP in the national election, due by May.
Akhilesh Yadav has also forged an alliance with a bitter rival, Mayawati, in Uttar Pradesh, with the intention of putting up a stronger fight against the BJP, which swept the state in the 2014 national election. Mulayam Singh has remained silent through these developments.
The Yadav father and son have not been on the best of terms over the past two years, during which Akhilesh, 45, staged a coup and took over control of the party founded by his father.