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Saying opposition altered tapes,
Mayawati goes on the offensive
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow |
March 04, 2003 21:10 IST
Even as she denied charges of having demanded a cut from the legislators' constituency development fund, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday went on the offensive against the Samajwadi Party, which came up with the 'evidence' against her.
The main opposition Samajwadi Party had on Monday submitted a video tape to Governor Vishnukant Shastri allegedly showing the chief minister asking legislators to contribute to the party fund from their constituency development funds.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Mayawati said the tapes were edited and did not portray the 'full picture'.
Mayawati said the opposition, frustrated by its repeated failures in bringing down the government, was now trying to sully her image.
She warned that the SP would have to 'pay dearly for leveling false charges' against her.
Launching a counter offensive, the chief minister alleged that SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had collected money from his party MPs and MLAs for the construction of a school in Etawah. "This school is named after Mulayam Singh Yadav's father."
"I will show you how Mulayam Singh siphoned off crores out of the chief minister's discretionary fund for this school and other purposes," she said.
Apparently, journalists were also her target as many are believed to have accepted favours from Mulayam.
According to official records, Mulayam had beaten all past records by enhancing the chief minister's annual discretionary fund from Rs 10 million (Rs one crore) to a whopping Rs 330 million (Rs 33 crore). Of this, as much as Rs 30 million (Rs 3 crore) was allegedly doled out to journalists, including some senior editors in Lucknow and Delhi.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, the government promised to make a statement in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday on the controversial tapes.
With inputs from PTI