M A I N   N E W S

Manmohan Singh bytes, Mulayam bytes back
Tribune News Service/PTI

Lucknow, December 23
Under attack from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav today reacted in a subdued manner saying he might have mixed up UP with Bihar while commenting on development in the state.

“Manmohan Singh is a learned person and an eminent economist. He might have confused UP with Bihar while making the statement,” he told mediapersons here.

Mr Yadav was reacting to the Prime Minister’s remarks in New Delhi that Uttar Pradesh desperately needed a leadership that was “forward looking and modern”.

New Delhi: Earlier, without naming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh categorically said today that the state desperately required leadership which "is forward looking and modern."

Joining the Congress attack against the Samajwadi government in Lucknow in the run-up to the Assembly elections in the first half of next year, Dr Singh stressed the people of UP needed a government that would invest in their future.

Regretting that the people of UP had been held back by a leadership that "thinks only about the past," the Prime Minister said public attention had been on "the legacies of history." In this context he said the northern region which lagged woefully on human development indicators required a “committed political leadership.”

Speaking after conferring the IIM Lucknow-Lakshmipat Singhania National Leadership awards here, Dr Singh hoped this occasion would inspire the people of UP to "think into the future."

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan wasted no time in echoing the Prime Minister's sentiments that the Mulayam Singh Yadav government had proved to be a failure on all fronts.

"We agree one hundred per cent with the Prime Minister. What he (Dr Manmohan Singh) has said about Uttar Pradesh is absolutely correct," Mr Paswan told mediapersons. He stressed that he has been touring UP and has found the situation bad.

Asked about the BJP making the Ram Temple a major poll plank, Mr Paswan said "my suggestion to the BJP is leave Ramjanambhoomi and think about your Matrubhoomi."

A decision on the Assembly poll in UP is expected early next year. The five-year term of the 403-member Assembly ends in May 2007.



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