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Vajpayee, Mulayam shielding Tandon: Mayawati

April 17, 2004 11:04 IST

Bahujan Samaj Party president, Mayawati, on Saturday accused Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav of trying to shield senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and the prime minister's poll manager in Lucknow, Lalji Tandon.

A stampede at a saree distribution programme in Lucknow on Sunday, or
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ganised to mark Tandon's birthday, had left 21 women and a child dead.

The Election Commission has ordered the local police to register a case against Tandon.

Vajpayee and Yadav have, however, not said a word against Tandon and he continues to be the prime minister's poll manager in Lucknow.

Welcoming the Election Commission's action, Mayawati said: "The prime minister should have removed Tandon as his chief election agent immediately after the tragedy and expelled him from the party."

Terming the saree distribution programme as a clear violation of the Election Commission's model code of conduct, she said: "If the function was held with the knowledge of the prime minister, he too could be held responsible for it."

Mayawati said there is no doubt that the sarees were distributed "to bribe dalit and poor women to gain their votes."


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