Wednesday, July 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Mayawati eats her words
PM rejects demand for Jagmohan’s ouster
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was today forced to withdraw her demand for the dismissal of Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a tough stand on the issue.

While the Prime Minister categorically rejected her demand, Ms Mayawati said she was withdrawing it following the assurance of Mr Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani that they would look into her complaint on the Taj Heritage Corridor issue.

In a dramatic climbdown, Ms Mayawati said in Lucknow that differences between the BJP and the BSP would be sorted out and maintained that the two parties would fight the Lok Sabha elections together in the state.

At the same time, BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu said a final view on the issue would be taken at the party’s Parliamentary Board meeting tomorrow.

It is understood that Mr Vajpayee has convened a meeting of his party leaders from Uttar Pradesh at his residence to take stock of the political situation in the state.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party MPs embarrassed the ruling BJP by repeatedly storming the well of the Lok Sabha, demanding the immediate dismissal of Mr Jagmohan, resulting in two adjournments of the House.

Mr Vajpayee, who had received a letter from Ms Mayawati containing her demand for the minister’s resignation yesterday, had urged her that the issue should not be raised in Parliament by the BSP.

The Prime Minister had also conveyed to the Chief Minister on the telephone that a CBI probe on the issue was already on and that the matter was sub judice, according to BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman V. K. Malhotra.

Fed up with Ms Mayawati’s style of functioning, some BJP MPs saw an opportunity today when they demanded the withdrawal of support to the Mayawati government at a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

At least 10 BJP MPs called on the Prime Minister later and pressed the demand for the withdrawal of support to the government.

“This kind of tactics cannot be tolerated. It is time some drastic action was taken,” an MP said.

Some UP leaders also met Mr Advani to review the situation in the wake of Ms Mayawati’s demand.

The issue was also deliberated today at the office-bearers’ meeting of the BJP.

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