Wednesday, August 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Mayawati resigns, Mulayam stakes claim
BSP snaps ties with NDA * Governor sends report to Centre
Our Correspondent and agencies

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati at a press conference at her official residence, in Lucknow on Tuesday. — PTI photo

Lucknow, August 26
In a day of hectic political development, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today tendered her resignation to Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, while the Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav staked claim for the formation of the next government in the state.

Mr Yadav met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and told him that in view of the current political development he should not recommend President’s rule and instead give the Samajwadi Party and its allies an opportunity to form the government.

“I have the majority and I will prove it at the right time,” he told reporters.

Later, Ms Mayawati met the Governor and tendered her and her Cabinet’s resignation and urged him to recommend President’s rule in the state. “I do not want to stick to power. Therefore, I thought it prudent to tender my resignation today,” she told reporters here. “I have categorically told the Governor, and had even given in writing, that I do not want to be a caretaker Chief Minister,” she said.

In a surprise move, Ms Mayawati had yesterday recommended the dissolution of the state Assembly and had urged the Governor to hold fresh elections in the state. Stumped by this move, the BJP, her alliance partner, withdrew support from the government.

“The BJP leaders are now saying that they had withdrawn support from my government earlier. If so, why did the BJP ministers attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday,” she asked. “Moreover, if the BJP ministers had in fact withdrawn support, why had they not tendered their resignations so far”. she asked.

She said the BJP was trying to mislead the country. “They (BJP leaders) are indulging in petty politics,” she said.

She claimed that over 40 BJP legislators were ready to join the Samajwadi Party. “I have definite information that they are ready to leave the BJP. Some of the BJP legislators had even contacted BSP legislators, she said, adding that it would be suicidal for the BJP if it paved the way for Mr Yadav to form the government. “The BJP will be wiped out and in Uttar Pradesh only two parties — the BSP and the SP — will contest the next elections,” she said.

She refused to talk about her future political moves. “The ball is in the court of the Governor. I have asked for President’s rule and fresh elections. I will react only after the Governor’s decision,” she said.

The BSP also announced the snapping of ties with the NDA at the Centre. Ms Mayawati said since the BJP had decided to snap ties with the BSP, there was no point in extending her party’s support to the NDA.

Meanwhile, political activities have intensified with Opposition leaders holding meetings. Mr Ajit Singh, President of Rashtriya Lok Dal, also met the Governor and requested him to call the Opposition to form the next government.

The Governor has sent his report to the Union Home Ministry on the latest developments.

According to Raj Bhavan sources, Mr Shastri sent a detailed report late last night. The report said the BJP withdrew its support from the government before Chief Minister Mayawati recommended the dissolution of the state Assembly.

During the day, the Governor held several rounds of telephonic talks with the Union Home Ministry officials and other senior leaders at the Centre. He also took suggestions from legal and constitutional experts.

The BJP Central Parliamentary Board, which met in New Delhi, put the ball in the Governor’s court saying that constitutionally it was for him to take an appropriate decision.

At the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, state BJP leaders favoured the imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh but party President M. Venkaiah Naidu parried questions on what the BJP’s strategy would be if the Samajwadi Party was invited to form the government or on President’s rule saying that it was for the Governor to decide.

The UP Governor has sought the list of supporting MLAs from Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav.


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