PSP(L) founder Shivpal Yadav Thursday expressed confidence that the next government at the Centre cannot be formed without support from the party and stressed there was "no chance" of a merger with the SP, though he was open for an alliance.
The Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief told PTI in an interview that after the party's formation he had traversed the state, covering almost all the districts, and the response was tremendous. "We are ready to contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats, if an alliance does not materialise," he said.
"Next government at the Centre cannot not be formed without support of our party. Our party has become a force to reckon with in past three months after its constitution. Our organisation in all the 75 districts is ready and people are acknowledging us as a force," Shivpal said.
Asked about the recent statement of senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan that party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his feuding uncle will unite again once the conditions turn favourable, he said there was "no chance" of this.
"There is no chance of merger of my party with the SP or going back to it. I am open for an alliance with like-minded parties to keep the communal BJP at bay and that too if my party is offered a respectable number of seats," he said.
On being asked about an SP-BSP alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, Shivpal asked, "Are they (SP and BSP) of the same ideology? Can it (BSP) be trusted. There is no trust when it will join or leave the alliance (with SP)."
On whether he has blessings of his elder brother and SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal said, "This is not the question now. I have taken a step forward. Now the question is of the state and the country and how we can counter and stop the communal forces."
He, however, said that he would request Mulayam to contest the Lok Sabha polls on his party ticket.
"If he does not accept our offer, our party will support him from wherever he contests. I always respect him and he will be given due honour. I have been with him since the beginning and learnt politics from him," Shivpal said.
About the possibility of allying with the Congress, the 63-year-old said, "He has not talked to anyone so far. But we have to keep in mind which national party can stop the BJP and constitute government at the Centre."
"If the opposition, including the SP, BSP and Congress want to stop the BJP and offer me respectable seats, my party will certainly join the alliance," he said.
About main poll issues of the PSP(L), Shivpal said his party would take up the cause of 'kisan, jawan, Musalman' (farmers, youths and Muslims) and fight for their interests.