Monday, October 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Amar in touch with BSP legislators
Biswajeet Banerjee

Lucknow, October 27
The political crisis in Uttar Pradesh took a new turn after Chief Minister Mayawati claimed today that over 24 Samajwadi Party legislators were ready to join the BSP if an attempt was made to topple her government. The statement came after SP national General Secretary Amar Singh airdashed to Lucknow to have confabulations with the leader of the Independent legislators’ group, Mr Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya.

In his over two-hour stay in the state capital, the SP leader held a meeting with the Independent legislators, who had withdrawn support to the government and had a tete-a-tete with few rebel BJP legislators, including Mr Ganga Bakht Singh, the convener of the BJP Bachao Samiti.

After the meeting Raja Bhaiya told The Tribune that independents and the BJP rebels were ready to support an SP government led by Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Mayawati government had been reduced to a minority and it had to go, he added.

On the other hand, Mr Amar Singh claimed that over 12 BSP legislators were in touch with him and they were ready to join the rank and file of the SP.

He claimed that the Mayawati government was so afraid of his coming to Uttar Pradesh that the Chief Secretary Mr D.S. Bagga, through one of his friends, had threatened him and asked him not to come to the state, otherwise he would be booked in a murder or rape case.

The SP leader also claimed that the BSP-led government was playing a game of political vendetta and had filed false cases against those leaders who had raised voice against the Mayawati government. A case of extortion was filed against Raja Bhaiya and his father by Pratapgarh police yesterday. The house of another Independent legislator, Mr Dhananjay Singh, had also been raided.

The Chief Minister termed these allegations as false. “I believe in the law of the land and no one is big or small before the law,” she said. She added: “The action initiated against those persons is based on facts and is in accordance with the law”.

Ms Mayawati described as wrong and baseless Mr Amar Singh’s statement that 15 BSP legislators were in touch with him. She said the truth was that more than 24 SP legislators were in regular touch with her. They would come into the open if an attempt was made to topple her government and join the BSP, severing their ties with the Samajwadi Party, she said.

These legislators, she said, were fed up with Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party and they could leave the party anytime. She clarified that the BSP legislators were fully dedicated to the party and committed to the government.

She described as cooked up the allegation of Mr Amar Singh that the Chief Secretary, Mr D.S. Bagga, had threatened him on telephone. The fact is that there had been no talks between Mr Bagga and Mr Singh either over the telephone or by any other means, she added.

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