Saturday, November 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

SP stakes claim to form government
Says it has support of 204 MLAs

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav speaks at a state-level working committee meeting of the party in Patna on Friday. — PTI photo

Lucknow, November 1
The political crisis in Uttar Pradesh took a new turn today with the Samajwadi Party and its allies staking claim to form an alternative government on the basis of support of 204 MLAs, including BJP dissidents.

Demanding dismissal of the BSP-BJP coalition headed by Ms Mayawati, a delegation of MLAs of the Samajwadi Party and supporting parties led by SP general secretary Amar Singh met Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri and told him the government had been reduced to a “minority” following withdrawal of support by 12 BJP MLAs yesterday.

Submitting a list of 204 MLAs, the delegation urged the Governor to invite SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to form the government.

Mr Amar Singh told reporters that the list did not contain the names of Congress MLAs but had those of the BJP rebels in it. He, however, did not disclose their names.

The list also contains names of MLAs from the Rashtriya Kranti Party, Apna Dal and CPM besides the Independents, he said.

Mr Amar Singh said the Governor assured them that he would take a decision after examining their claim.

The SP leader said they drew the Governor’s attention to his own statement prior to the withdrawal of support by 12 BJP MLAs that the Mayawati government had the support of 210 members in a House of 403.

Going by the Governor’s own assertion, the government has been reduced to a minority following withdrawal of support by 12 MLAs, he said.

About support from the Congress, he said his party was in touch with Congress leaders and they had assured them that they would fall in line once the Mayawati government fell.

Meanwhile, the Congress said its central leadership would act accordingly if the Mayawati government fell due to its own contradictions.

In the prevailing political scenario, the Congress has no role to play, UPCC president Arun Kumar Singh Munna and Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tewari told reporters here.

“The Congress is neither interested in pulling down the government nor in the installation of one,” they said, adding that the party was keeping a watch on the political developments in the state.

The state unit has apprised the party high command of its views on extending support to the SP and “we are confident it will take a decision keeping the party’s interests in mind,” Mr Munna said.

The two leaders said the Governor should convene a special session of the Assembly for the Mayawati government to prove its majority in the wake of withdrawal of support by 12 BJP MLAs yesterday.

In fact, Ms Mayawati herself should seek a confidence vote to clear all doubts about her government’s majority, Mr Tiwari said.

In an oblique reference to Mr Yadav, Mr Munna said those who had stopped the Congress from coming to power at the Centre were now seeking its support to pull down the coalition government.

“Had they not facilitated the installation of the Vajpayee government, the Mayawati government would not have come into existence.”

Mr Amar Singh said he had talks with the senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh and CPM leader Harkishen Singh Surjeet on the matter.

He said if the BJP thought that their claim was “hollow”, then it should not be afraid of allowing the SP to form an alternative government.

Meanwhile, the BJP — afraid of an open revolt — threatened the dissidents with dissolution of the House in case it was forced to prove its strength.

All eyes were now set on Raj Bhavan as Uttar Pradesh politics desperately awaited the fortnight-long fluid situation adopting a definite course.

Senior BJP leaders Lalji Tandon and Vinay Katiyar today gave ample hints to the dissidents that the party leadership would prefer the house to be dissolved rather than go through the humiliation of proving the coalition’s majority on the floor of the House for the second time in six months.

Meanwhile, highly-placed sources in the state BJP said the party was against convening a fresh session as some ‘’hidden’’ dissidents may vote against the six-month-old fragile coalition on the floor of the house in case the Chief Minister was asked to prove her strength.

Senior BJP leader and in charge of Uttar Pradesh Kalraj Mishra though, presented a comfortable scenario. He asserted that the Mayawati-led BSP-BJP ruling alliance still enjoyed a majority despite a lack of confidence shown by 12 BJP dissident MLAs. The 12 MLAs who met the Governor yesterday had only expressed a lack of confidence in the state government. ‘’They had not withdrawn support,’’ Mr Mishra added. PTI, UNI


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