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Mulayam in power, Raja Bhaiyya out of jail

August 29, 2003 11:08 IST
Last Updated: August 29, 2003 16:46 IST

Mulayam Singh Yadav: Profile

Mulayam Singh Yadav. Pic: Getty ImagesKeen to put an end to the acrimony the preceded his elevation to the chief minister's post, Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday told mediapersons that he would like to avoid khatti baatein (bitter issues) and stick to meethi baatein (agreeable issues).

Addressed a press conference after taking oath in the morning, Yadav announced that his government would withdraw POTA charges against independent MLA Raja Bhaiyya and his father and also that the anti-terrorism law would not be used to harass political opponents.

Towards this end, he said cases of those arrested under the National Security Act and the Goonda Act during Mayawati's regime would be reviewed.

Among other things, he announced an end to 'inspector raj' (targetted against traders), promised 14 hours electricity to farmers, his political constituency, lifting the ban on elections to student unions in colleges and universities, payment of dues to cane growers (amounting to Rs 1,340 crore) and free beds to patients in government hospitals.

He parried questions on the Ayodhya imbroglio saying his stand on the matter was well-known.

Asked whether his government would issue a fresh notification to pave the way for trial of Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case, the chief minister said a decision in this regard would be taken after consulting other parties in the coalition.

Yadav evaded a direct reply when asked whether the support extended to him by the Congress meant that he had accepted Sonia Gandhi as leader of the opposition-led anti-BJP front.

He, however, expressed hope that Congress would join his ministry, which would be constituted after consultations with allies. He said the ministry might be expanded after he wins the confidence vote in the assembly.

Yadav said his government priorities are law and order and establishing social and communal harmony.

More reports from Uttar Pradesh

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