Saturday, November 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP warns dissidents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
The BJP today while issuing a warning to its rebel MLAs in Uttar Pradesh expressed hope that “an amicable and honourable” settlement would be found.

After failing to make any breakthrough in its efforts to placate dissident party MLAs in Uttar Pradesh, party general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi warned that the BJP could recommend their disqualification under the anti-defection law.

“We are considering all options, including recommendation of disqualification of those going against the party’s programmes and policies as provided in the anti-defection law,” Mr Naqvi said here.

Earlier, BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu hoped that an “amicable and honourable” settlement would be found out to the situation arising of rebellion by a dozen party MLAs in Uttar Pradesh but asserted that no alternative government was possible to the BSP-BJP coalition.

“There is no possibility of an alternative government. Only the BSP and the BJP could provide a stable Government as they have the capacity and the required strength”, Mr Naidu told newspersons at the party headquarters when asked about the rebellion in the state BJP.

Noting that there have been conflicting versions about what the dissident MLAs have told Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri last night, he said party leaders Kalraj Mishra, Rajnath Singh as also former party President Kushabhau Thakre were keeping a watch on the situation. “We want the government to continue and be stable. The image of the party has to be kept intact and discipline is to be maintained”, while resolving the issue, he said.

Asked about the demand by the dissidents for action against the state BJP Legislature Party leader Lalji Tandon, he shot back “we do not discuss such demands in press conferences”. Mr Naidu was closeted with Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani for some time after they participated in the National Executive of the BJP Mahila Morcha.

Mr Advani and Mr Naidu went into consultations after a telephone call came from Mr Thakre who had been sent to Lucknow for placating rebel MLAs.

Mr Naidu’s comments came a day after the rebellion in the BJP in Uttar Pradesh took a turn for the worse when the dissident MLAs met the Governor asking him to order a trial of strength for the Mayawati government in the Assembly but the Governor denied that they had withdrawn support.

Earlier Mr Naqvi also ruled out the possibility of the Mayawati government seeking a vote of confidence saying, “only when we feel we are in a minority, we will seek a trust vote.”

“Our priority is to maintain stability and development. All necessary steps are being taken at all levels to ensure there is no threat to the state government,” he said.

Asked why the party was not taking any action against the MLAs who had met the Governor and reportedly withdrawn support to the government, he said, “ours is a democratic party and we take steps as per a due process.”

Alleging that “moneybags, those involved in the black market and power brokers” had conspired to capture power in the state, he charged the Samajwadi Party with “trying to push the state towards mid-term poll”.


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