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63 of Mayawati's MLAs quit
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | February 24, 2007 15:03 IST
In her bid to embarrass archrival and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday took the resignation of all 63 MLAs belonging to her party in Uttar Pradesh.
Mayawati, who has raised the pitch for the dismissal of the 41-month-old government, described the move as a mark of protest against the speaker's continued recognition of the BSP's 37 defectors as members of the ruling Samajwadi Party.
"All my party MLAs have handed over their resignation letters to me. I will pass on these to Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, who has been working as a Samajawadi party agent and has so far refused to take cognisance of the recent Supreme Court order, that clearly implies the disqualification of all BSP defectors," she said.
The resignations may not have any bearing on the Samajwadi Party government but it would serve her purpose to embarrass Mulayam who has been insisting that he would prove his majority on the floor of the House on February 26, even as there was no such demand from any opposition quarter.
The Election Commission has already declared the schedule for seven-phase election in the state from April 7.
Training her guns on the speaker, Mayawati said, "The BSP would not like to participate in the proceedings of an Assembly headed by a party stooge like Mata Prasad Pandey."
She was also vehemently critical of the Congress party and the United Progressive Alliance government for failing to dismiss the Mulayam government.
"Even though the Supreme Court order had virtually invalidated the very formation of the government, the Congress developed cold feet under pressure from its Left allies and failed to impose President's Rule in the state," she said.
"Why was the Congress willing to bow down before the pressures of the Communist Party of India-Marxist that was of no political consequence in UP" she asked.
Questioning the CPM's stand against the use of Article 356, she asked, "Why such double standards by CPM, which did not object to the imposition of President's Rule in Bihar?"
She said, "Besides our protest, the resignations have been given also on moral ground." She sought to point out that since the results of the last elections were declared on February 25, 2002, our MLAs completed their full five-year term on February 24, 2007, hence they should step down now, even though they were technically allowed to continue until May 14 when the last Assembly was actually constituted."
The Assembly was under suspended animation between February and May 2002.
Mayawati argued, "The Supreme Court explicitly and in toto allowed our petition seeking disqualification of all the 37 defectors."
Asked why the court spelt out the disqualification of only 13 and was ambiguous about the status of the remaining 24, she shot back, "The order on 13 was issued simply because we had ourselves pointed out that the defection began with the first batch of 13, who were followed by the remaining 24, who switched sides in smaller batches."