Tuesday, April 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

‘Politics of revenge’ rocks Parliament
Centre to seek facts from Mayawati govt
Tribune News Service and Agencies


*  Sushma assures special security to Amar Singh
* Code of conduct to check vendetta sought
* SP workers threaten ‘jail bharo’ stir

New Delhi, April 21
The actions of the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh on Samajwadi Party leaders came in for sharp criticism from members of both Houses of Parliament, who described the move as a “threat to democracy.”

The entire Opposition supported by two NDA constituents — the Shiv Sena and the Samata Party in the Lok Sabha — condemned Ms Mayawati’s action as “politics of revenge and a threat to democracy.”

In the Rajya Sabha, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj, said “before the Centre expresses its opinion, it is necessary that we ascertain full facts from the state government.” She said she would convey the feelings of the members to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister L.K. Advani.

The minister also assured the members that the government would provide special security to senior Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who alleged that he was facing threat to his life, when the matter was raised in zero hour by Mr Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) alleging that the Chief Minister had become “impatient” after his party “exposed” her through video tapes, in which she allegedly demanded her party MPs and MLAs to part with a portion of the area development fund for the party.

In the lower house, the Opposition members urged the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers for evolving a code of conduct to check political vendetta on Opposition leaders.

Even the ruling NDA allies leaders — Mr Chanderkant Khaire from the Shiv Sena, Mr Prabhnath Singh from the Samata Party and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee also came out in support of the Opposition leaders who maintained that if those in power allowed to decimate political opponents with naked use of illegal methods ‘’the country was bound to lose its democratic set-up’’.

Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav raised the issue as soon as the House assembled to take up the question hour this morning, saying that he was not afraid of his arrest but the “sordid practice of taking revenge” on political opponents would entail far-reaching adverse consequences for democracy.

Speaker Manohar Joshi allowed all nine adjournment motions on the issue from Opposition leaders. Former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar also sought the immediate intervention of the government to nip in the bud the emerging trend of autocratic functioning of those in power.

“I will personally request the Prime Minister to look into the matter expeditiously as the situation in Uttar Pradesh is not normal... and a small spark could lead to the outbreak of a civil war,” he said.

Condemning the developments in Uttar Pradesh, Congress Chief Whip in the House Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said: “it is causing concern for the entire democratic set-up and should be collectively condemned.”

But BJP Parliamentary Party’s Chief Whip Vijay Kumar Malhotra sought to give a twist to the issue by saying that the singling out of the Mayawati issue for attack was also “a part of politics.”.

“Why should the issue of holding threats by those in power to the opponents be not taken in entirety... when Congress Chief Minister in Punjab frequently indulges in this,” Mr Malhotra said.

This evoked a sharp reaction from all Opposition leaders who charged Mr Malhotra of deviating from the main issue.

BSP member Rashid Alvi, however, attempted to put up a strong support for his leader Ms Mayawati in the House denying all charges against the Chief Minister. He said only those politicians who had violated the law were now scared. But sensing the mood of the House, he assured the members that the state government would take action only on the directions of the court.

A plea to take action against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for using foul language against deities of Hindu religion was made in the Lok Sabha today.

Raising the issue in the zero hour, Mr Chandrakant Khaire (Shiv Sena) said the kind of words used by Ms Mayawati against the gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion was highly objectionable since the BJP was a partner in the Uttar Pradesh Government headed by Ms Mayawati. He said the Centre must take cognisance of this seriously. He called for stern action against her.

The Congress today favoured a code of conduct to be evolved for chief ministers to prevent them from indulging in “politics of vengeance” and said the Prime Minister should take the initiative in this regard.

‘’While there is no case for allowing the chief ministers who misuse their powers to go scot free, a Chief Minister should not be allowed to run riot with powers,’’ chief spokesman of the Congress S. Jaipal Reddy said briefing reporters here.

Referring to the cases and inquiries instituted by Ms Mayawati against her predecessors, Mr Reddy said a legal action was not required to ensure that a Chief Minister did not misuse powers, but a political initiative should be taken by the Prime Minister for evolving a code of conduct.

The BJP, too, said it was not in agreement with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s action to slap cases against Samajwadi Party leaders.

“It is necessary that a code of conduct for Chief Minister is evolved, party spokesman V.K. Malhotra said adding that the politics of “vendetta” must stop. Samajwadi Party workers today vowed to launch a ‘jail bharo’ agitation if any action was taken against their leader Mulayam Singh Yadav under the allegedly fake cases lodged against him by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP leader Mayawati.

The workers held a symbolic dharna, called by party MP Abu Asim Azmi, at Parliament Street here after which they burnt Ms Mayawati’s effigy.

Addressing party workers at the dharna, Mr Azmi said the exposure of Ms Mayawati’s corrupt deeds by his party through video tapes had taken the wind out of the BSP leader’s sail.

The lodging of over 100 fake cases against Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav was an act of frustration, he added.

“In the cases lodged against Mr Yadav, he is shown to have committed crimes simultaneously at places in different districts travelling between which takes at least 45 minutes, and identical proforma for these cases had been sent to the district administration by the Mayawati government,’’ said the Samajwadi Party MP.

He also lashed out at the BJP, BSP’s coalition partner in Uttar Pradesh, saying that the former was equally responsible for corruption and harassment of the innocent under POTA in the state.


Mulayam’s arrest stayed

Lucknow, April 21
The Allahabad High Court today stayed the arrest of Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav and six others till May 16 in connection with the FIR filed regarding the filming of an in-house BSP meeting and subsequent release of its video-cassette and CDs to the media. PTI

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