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UP opposition eyes legislative council
bypoll in bid to topple Mayawati

Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi | June 20, 2003 10:20 IST

After having failed to convince Uttar Pradesh Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri that the Mayawati-led government had lost its majority, the opposition hopes to prove its point during an impending bypoll to the legislative council.

The stability of the Bahujan Samaj Party-Bharatiya Janata Party government came under a cloud when the 14-member Rashtriya Janata Dal withdrew support to the ruling coalition.

Sensing an opportunity to topple the government, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav gathered the other opposition leaders and demanded a trial of strength.

The governor, however, did not play along and refused to call a sitting of the House. The next session is due only in September.

The bypoll to the legislative council has, hence, come as a good opportunity for the opposition to force the issue, a Congress leader told

The vacancy was created following the resignation of former chief minister Ram Prakash Gupta, who has been appointed governor of Madhya Pradesh.

Gupta was a BJP member, and hence the party will be obliged to put up a candidate.

The opposition is expected to field a joint candidate.

The bypoll will be a straight contest with the electorate comprising the 403 members of the state assembly.

Hence, a victory for the opposition candidate would mean curtains for Chief Minister Mayawati.

Both sides are claiming the support of MLAs from the opposite side, which can only mean that another no-holds-barred electoral contest is in the offing.

More reports from Uttar Pradesh

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