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UP: Rebel BJP leader returns to party fold
January 05, 2003 17:49 IST
Marking a virtual end to the dissidence in the BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit, leader of rebel legislators Ganga Bhakt Singh on Sunday returned to the party fold.
"We have no complaints now" as the state and the central BJP leadership has promised to look into the issues raised by the dissidents, Singh, who was convener of the Save BJP Committee, said at a joint press conference with senior party leader Lalji Tandon at his Lucknow residence.
He said UP BJP chief Vinay Katiyar and Tandon have taken steps to redress the grievances of the party legislators over regional imbalance in the cabinet expansion a few months back, government apathy towards party legislators and the indifferent attitude of the officials.
Stating that he had never left the BJP, Singh said his campaign was 'only to strengthen the party and it would not be correct to call me a rebel'.
Asked what prompted his return to the party fold when the state government was yet to end its crackdown against the dissidents with several MLAs in jail, he said the cases against the rebel legislators would be withdrawn and their persecution would also stop.
Tandon said he was happy at Singh's return to the party fold. "Singh has shown magnanimity by forgiving me for mistakes committed unknowingly," he said assuring that Singh would be accorded due respect in the party.
Admitting that the cabinet expansion was carried out in a hurry giving rise to resentment in some quarters, he indicated
that another expansion might take place in the near future.
Tandon evaded a direct reply to a question whether Singh would be accommodated in the cabinet during the expansion.
On Saturday, Tandon had claimed that seven of the 11 dissident MLAs have returned to the party fold.
Of them, Badshah Singh, Anil Verma, Gangabux Singh and Daya Shanker Verma were present at Sunday's press conference. Tandon claimed that Ram Pratap Singh, Narendra Verma and Chandrakant Mani Singh could not reach Lucknow due to inclement weather.
More reports from Uttar Pradesh