Sunday, October 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

No trial of strength in UP
Biswajeet Banerjee

Lucknow, October 26
The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, said the five-month-old BJP-BSP government led by Ms Mayawati was still in a majority and there was no need to convene a special session of the Assembly for trial of strength.

The independent legislators who met the Governor last night asked Mr Shastri to convene a special session of the Assembly and ask the Chief Minister to prove her majority on the floor of the House as she had lost the majority after their withdrawal of support. “The present government led by Ms Mayawati has been reduced to minority,” claimed Mr Raghuraj Pratap Singh, leader of the Independent legislators’ group.

The Governor admitted that the Independent legislators requested for a special session and he told them that he would see.

The Governor said as per numbers, the Chief Minister still enjoyed majority. He said while eight legislators had signed the letter of withdrawal of support, he could take cognizance of only seven, as one of them, Mr Kaushal Kishore of the CPM, did not figure among those who had extended support to the government.

“Therefore, even after withdrawal of support by seven Independents, Ms Mayawati still enjoys the support of 210 members in the 403-member Assembly,” Mr Shastri said.

During the trial of strength, Ms Mayawati had got 217 votes against 202 required to win the vote of confidence in the Assembly. With seven independents withdrawing support the number has reduced to 210.

Interestingly, with at least six BJP MLAs and RLD MLA Samarpal Singh spewing venom against the government, the number may be reduced to 203, one more than the required number.

Meanwhile, the rebel BJP legislators have decided to meet tomorrow to chalk out their future strategy. Senior BJP leaders, including Mr Rajnath Singh and Mr Kalraj Mishra too held meetings and tried for the last time to tame the rebels. They refused to speak to mediapersons but hoped that the crisis would be defused soon.


Amar Singh meets Cong leaders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
Wishing to swim in troubled waters in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party today began consultations with the Congress on the possibility of forming an alternative government.

A day after eight Independent MLAs withdrew support to the Mayawati government, Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh met several Congress leaders in New Delhi and also sought time from Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the issue.

Even as Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded the dismissal of the Mayawati government claiming that 15 MLAs belonging to the BSP in Uttar Pradesh wanted to raise a banner of revolt, the party involved old sympathiser, CPM veteran leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet, in the consultations.

The Samajwadi Party is hoping to get support from the Congress in installing an SP-led government in Uttar Pradesh. However, the war of attrition between the SP and the Congress still seems to be continuing with Mr Amar Singh reiterating that the “ball was in the Congress court”.

“Fourteen to 15 MLAs belonging to the BSP want to raise a banner of revolt against the government,” he claimed.

Mr Amar Singh met Congress leader Motilal Vora, AICC General Secretary incharge of UP affairs, for over 30 minutes and later drove to Mr Manmohan Singh’s residence where he briefed both on the situation in the state.

He said Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and himself had sought an appointment with Ms Gandhi to discuss the situation and seek Congress support to form a secular government in the state.

“Mr Manmohan Singh said the SP’s views were indeed laudable and it should try to form an alternative with Congress support in the state,” the SP leader said. Mr Manmohan Singh assured him that he would convey to Ms Gandhi the SP’s feelings, Mr Amar Singh said.


BJP allows rebels to meet PM
Tribune News Service and UNI

Lucknow, October 26
Softening its earlier harsh stand, the BJP said today that it would allow its dissident legislators in Uttar Pradesh to meet Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to air their grievances. The rebels are likely to meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi tomorrow without the presence of any state party leaders, BJP sources said here.

The decision to accept the demands of the dissidents was taken after BJP general secretary and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh had a detailed discussion with the Prime Minister about the crisis on the telephone this morning.

NEW DELHI: The BJP has ruled out any threat to the Mayawati-led coalition government in Uttar Pradesh. “Mulayam Singh’s efforts to form a government with the Congress will fail,” BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here. Mr Naqvi said of the eight dissident party MLAs, five had never been with the BJP.

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