Friday, April 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Mayawati to be UP CM
BJP, BSP clear last-minute hurdles
Satish Misra and Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were today engaged in clearing last-minute hurdles for the formation of a coalition government headed by Ms Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh.

According to available indications Ms Mayawati is to be sworn in as UP Chief Minister for the third time at 10 am in Lucknow on April 30, much before the May 8 deadline for ratification of President’s rule in UP by both Houses of Parliament.

The talks between Ms Mayawati and UP BJP leaders, Mr Lalji Tandon and Mr Kalraj Mishra, produced agreement on several issues, but several equally important issues remained inconclusive.

While the two parties agreed not to have any Deputy Chief Minister and also not to have the post of CM rotating between BJP and BSP, the BJP is understood to have made it clear to Ms Mayawati, much to her chagrin, that she would not be having the last word on transfers of police and administration officials.

Ms Mayawati’s “stubborn” attitude over the issue of transfers was the result of the collapse of the BSP-BJP coalition government in UP some years back.

Ms Maywati’s Cabinet is likely to be 40-member strong — 20 ministers each from the BSP and the BJP and allies. Sources said the BJP had demanded important portfolios of Finance, Power and Home for making her the Chief Minister.

In another important development, the BJP has suggested to the BSP to have a Coordination Committee to ensure that no misunderstanding crops up between the two parties this time. The BJP, sources said, wanted former UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh heading the proposed Coordination Committee as that would silence the opposition within the BJP to the BSP-BJP coalition government.

However, Ms Mayawati seems to be having reservations in this regard.

While Mr Rajnath Singh, who was asked to choose between a post in the Union Cabinet or in the party, has opted to become BJP General Secretary, the principal votary of a BJP-BSP understanding is due to become the leader of the BJP legislative party in the Assembly thus occupying the number two position.

Earlier, senior BJP leaders met at Union Home Minister L K Advani’s residence for almost an hour to finalise the modalities before they went to Ms Mayawati’s residence to clinch the issue.

Asked if the BJP and the BSP had reached an understanding, Ms Mayawati said: “You (newspersons) can make out from the fact that we are standing together.”

About the modalities of the government, she said that would be announced at a joint Press conference at an appropriate time.

The ongoing talks between the two parties had suffered a setback after BSP supremo Kanshi Ram’s statement ruling out the post of Deputy Chief Minister in the coalition government.

Senior state BJP leader Lalji Tandon, who, along with Mr Kalraj Mishra, was assigned the job of negotiating with their BSP counterparts, had expressed his serious reservations about the statement. He had even gone to the extent of saying, that there would be no further talks between the two parties.

The intervention of Central party leaders not only resulted in the resumption of talks but also rekindled the hopes of an early formation of the government.

The decision of a tie-up with the BSP has assumed further significance in the wake of a proposed discussion on Gujarat in the Lok Sabha Under Rule 184, on April 30. Since the discussion would entail voting, BSP support would come in handy for the BJP, political observers feel.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |