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BJP asks governor to dismiss UP government
August 25, 2003 16:44 IST
Last Updated: August 25, 2003 20:02 IST
After withdrawing support from the Mayawati-led government in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday asked Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri to immediately dismiss the state government.
"The government should immediately sack Mayawati," the BJP state president Vinay Katiyar told reporters in Lucknow.
He said the party's future strategy would be chalked out at a meeting at the residence of Prime Minister A B Vajpayee tomorrow at which many senior state and central leaders are expected to take part. Asked why the BJP withdrew support from the government, Katiyar said, "You will get the answers tomorrow."
The media interaction came at the end of a day of hectic developments that saw Chief Minister Mayawati recommend the dissolution of the state assembly and announcing that her party's ties with the BJP have been severed.
Addressing a huge convention of Bahujan Samaj Party workers at Lucknow's sprawling Ambedkar Maidan earlier in the day, Mayawati said she has elaborated her reasons for doing so in a letter written to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Mayawati announced the decision amid applause from her party workers. She also read out the contents of her letter to Vajpayee.
Naidu said the meeting would discuss all options, including the formation of an alternative government and keeping the assembly under suspended animation.
Though the BJP was an equal partner in the BSP-BJP coalition the chief minister had not taken the BJP into confidence before taking such an important decision, he said.
"I do not know what provoked her to propose the dissolution of the House," Naidu told reporters in Chennai.
The BJP president said he had spoken to the Prime Minister A B Vajpayee about the UP developments. Naidu said the party's leader of the house in UP, Lalji Tandon, had told Mayawati at a Cabinet meeting not to take any hasty decision.
He said he was in touch with BJP leaders in the state and had instructed them not to take any step till the parliamentary board met tomorrow.
The party would keep in mind its past experience with the BSP before taking a decision, he said.
Meanwhile, amid swift political developments, Pradesh Congress Committee president Jagdambika Pal today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi and is understood to have discussed the party's strategy.
However, details of the discussion between the two leaders were not available.
Pal is likely to meet former Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh to discuss the strategy for forming the next government in UP.
The Congress party has 16 legislators in the 403-member state assembly. The party had earlier submitted a letter to Governor Shastri extending support to the Samajwadi Party in forming the next government.
In New Delhi, the Election Commission today said it would be "difficult" for it to hold assembly polls in UP along with those in five states scheduled in November-December this year.
"It will be difficult and may not be possible to hold the polls along with the five states", EC sources said.
Uttar Pradesh is a major state and therefore, preparation for the polls and ensuring up-to-date electoral rolls would take time, they said.
Earlier in the day, Mayawati sprang a surprise by recommending dissolution of the assembly claiming her cabinet's backing for it but the BJP sought to preempt her by withdrawing support to the government minutes before she met Governor Vishnukant Shastri.
Climaxing a series of developments, including the Supreme Court's rap over the Taj Mahal controversy and the BJP rejecting her demand for Union Minister Jagmohan's resignation, Mayawati called a cabinet meeting this morning where she is said to have offered to resign.
Mayawati then drove to Raj Bhavan and met the governor. She told reporters later she gave a letter containing the Cabinet's recommendation for dissolving the assembly and holding polls at the earliest.
The chief minister made it clear she had not resigned and there was no question of it till the House was dissolved.
Shastri told reporters after his meeting with Mayawati that he would take an "appropriate" decision "at the earliest".
About half an hour before her meeting, BJP Legislature Party leader and Urban Development Minister Lalji Tandon met the governor and gave a letter withdrawing the BJP's support to the 16-month old government.
Katiyar contested Mayawati's claim of a cabinet recommendation for dissolution of the assembly saying, it was "one sided".
He said apart from Tandon's letter withdrawing support, he had also met the governor on Saturday night and urged him not to accept any recommendation from Mayawati for dissolution without consulting the BJP.
Today's developments bring to an end the uneasy relationship between the two parties brought together by a fractured verdict in last year's assembly elections.
As the state was brought under President's rule and the assembly kept under suspended animation, the BJP -- with 87 MLAs -- and the BSP with 111, stitched a coalition with support from other parties to form a government in April with a wafer-thin majority in a House of 403.
This is the party position in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
Total Seats : 403
Total : 403
More reports from Uttar Pradesh
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