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Smell of power brings UP foes together
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow |
August 27, 2003 00:07 IST
Last Updated: August 27, 2003 00:08 IST
One-time political foes Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Kalyan Singh (Rashtriya Krantikari Dal) and Ajit Singh (Rashtriya Lok Dal) held a meeting in Lucknow on Tuesday night to try and cobble up a majority to form government in Uttar Pradesh after the resignation of Chief Minister Mayawati, who led a Bahujan Samaj Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition.
The talks at Kalyan Singh's residence followed Governor Vishnukant Shastri's missive to Mulayam Singh Yadav to submit a list of legislators in support of his claim to form government.
The Samajwadi Party boss, however, does not consider it necessary to furnish any list. "I have requested the governor to extend me an invitation to form government simply on the strength of my party being the single largest in the assembly," he said.
Though he was silent about the possibility of support from a potential splinter group of the BJP or BSP, it was believed that a number of BJP dissidents had managed to sneak into Kalyan Singh's house to strike a deal.
The Samajwadi Party president, who has twice held the position of chief minister, cited precedents where the single largest party was invited not only in certain states but even at the Centre to form government.
"I have already assured the governor that I have the support of other likeminded secular political parties and independents to prove my majority on the floor of the assembly," he said.
The Samajwadi Party has 142 legislators in the 403-member House, followed by the BSP (111), BJP (87), Congress (16) and RLD (14). There are 17 independents and the rest of the legislators belong to tiny parties.
A Samajwadi Party source said, "Why should we force any kind of split in any party when we can have the necessary numbers.
"The BSP and BJP have a combined strength of 198, which still leaves 205 members in the assembly."