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Home > News > Report

13 BSP MLAs disqualified, Mulayam confident of smooth sail

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow and Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 14, 2007 16:22 IST
Last Updated: February 14, 2007 21:39 IST

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Visibly unfazed by the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying 13 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs , Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav is confident of a smooth sail, even as the entire opposition loudly echoed their demand for dismissal of his three-year old government.

The Mulayam Singh government of Uttar Pradesh survived despite the disqualification of 13 breakaway Bahujan Samaj  Party MLAs by the five-member Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The court in its order said that the 13 MLAs were defectors. They formed the Loktantrik Bahujan Samajwadi party three years ago.

With state assembly elections just round the corner and to be held possibly in March-April, the government is already on its last legs.

Emphasising the number game, where he appeared to be on a smooth wicket, Mulayam pointed out, "Our government enjoyed support of as many as 223 members with 392 sitting members (in a 403 member house) during the vote of confidence in January; therefore even if you knock off the now disqualified members, we would remain a clear majority."

Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference at his official residence in Lucknow he proclaimed, "I have always held the judiciary in high esteem and I welcome the verdict of the apex court, that has in fact, added strength to my government."

He declined to elaborate how the verdict had reinforced him and left when reporters fired a volley of queries.

On the other hand, each of the key opposition parties took their demand for dismissal of the Mulayam government to a new high. "It is not a question of numbers", said state Congress Chief Salman Khurshid , adding, "Fact remains that Mulayam's government was constituted in an illegal manner; so it was just about  time that the illegally formed government was legally dismissed."

Bahujan Samaj Party general secretary Satish Misra was clearly of the view, "Mulayam government was formed through defection by 37 BSP MLAs; now that the Supreme Court had invalidated 13 of these defections by disqualifying the MLAs, the remaining members were bound to be treated by the same yardstick."

Echoing the demand for dismissal, Bhartiya Janata Party leader Lalji Tandon strongly disputed Mulayam's claim of winning the last vote of confidence on the floor of the house in January by displaying a support of 223 members. "Even that claim was invalid as 13 members belonging to other political parties, including 10 BJP members, had voted for the Mulayam government in total violation of the anti-defection law," Tandon sought to point out, adding, "...and once these were also taken away from the count, Mulayam would lose even in the game of numbers."

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the party welcomed the judgment of the honourable court and demanded that the Union government should immediately impose President's rule in the state in the wake of the disqualification of the 13 MLAs by the Supreme Court if Mulayam Singh does not tender his resignation as the chief minister of the state.

"We feel that free and fair elections in the state cannot be held under the Mulayam Singh government and so it is up to the Central government to take necessary action," Rudy told