Monday, May 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Chautala opposes Ajit’s inclusion
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

Kosi (Mathura), May 20
Firing the first salvo of opposition, Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala today expressed his opposition to the inclusion of Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh and his party in the proposed Cabinet expansion.

“We are opposed to the inclusion of Mr Ajit Singh in the Cabinet”, Mr Chautala said here.

Asked whether the INLD would reconsider its unconditional support to the Vajpayee government, Mr Chautala said “We would take a decision at an appropriate time”.

The Cabinet is likely to be expanded in the first week of June. The INLD has five members in the Lok Sabha. The Chief Minister, however, ruled out joining the government. Mr Chautala indicated the possibility of the RLD merging with the BJP.

The Haryana Chief Minister was here to address a Kisan Sammelan organised for the formation of a separate “Kisan Pradesh” for western Uttar Pradesh. The INLD leader said smaller states brought in prosperity and better administration. He recalled the economic prosperity of Haryana following its formation.

Stating that his party will support the demands of the farmers, Mr Chautala said he would raise the issue of farmers’ interests following WTO provisions at the meeting called by the Prime Minister on Monday.

“Anti-farmer policies following WTO provisions would not be allowed to be implemented”, he said.

Ruling out the possibility of Mr Ajit Singh’s inclusion in the fight for “Kisan Pradesh”, Mr Chautala said “we would rather welcome the support of Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait”.

Mr Chautala indicated that his party would contest the forthcoming Assembly poll in UP and urged the people to express their democratic right in this direction.

Sitting UP ministers Sardar Singh and Laxmi Narayan asked the people to be ready to take to the streets to meet their demand for a separate state.

Stating that the demand for the new state would not result in the disintegration of the country, the leaders said western UP had been discriminated against and not much development had taken place.

The separate state is being demanded to be carved out of 22 districts of the present Uttar Pradesh. The region elects 26 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 138 MLAs to the Assembly.Back

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