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Taj not the only reason for quitting: Mayawati
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | August 26, 2003 17:51 IST
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, shortly after submitting her resignation to Governor Vishnukant Shastri on Tuesday, told a crowded press conference that the Taj heritage corridor controversy was not the only reason why she decided to step down.
The UP government's decision to construct a shopping complex in proximity to the Taj Mahal, a world heritage site, without any enviromental or archaelogical clearance from the Union government, had become a major embarrassment for Mayawati.
"There were many factors other than the Taj affair...my name was being dragged unnecessarily in controversies. The Taj matter is in the hands of the judiciary and the law will take its own course," she said.
"Right from day one, the Bharatiya Janata Party (her ally in the government) has been creating trouble for me. Instead of extending a hand of cooperation, they always adopted a confrontationist approach," she said.
Refuting the charge that the fallout with the BJP was because she concentrated too much power in her hands, she said: "My decision to step down from office is a testimony to my claim that I do not run after power. If I had wanted, I could have continued as a caretaker chief minister, but I made it loud and clear in my resignation letter that I am not interested in continuing in that capacity either."
Refuting BJP leader Lalji Tandon's claim that the decision to recommend the dissolution of the assembly was unilateral, Mayawati said: "I have enough documentary evidence to prove that all BJP ministers were party to the decision."
Mayawati said she has information that around 40 BJP MLAs are waiting to cross over to any party which is invited to form the next government.
Asked what would be her reaction if her sworn political foe, Mulayam Singh Yadav, was invited by the governor to form an alternative government, she said: "It would suit me to have Mulayam in power here."
She, however, had some advice for him: "If Mulayam chooses to be vindictive to me, he will be digging his political grave. He has seen the consequences of the violence he unleashed on me and my partymen on June 2, 1995. This time if he tries any mischief, he will be doomed forever."
More reports from Uttar Pradesh
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