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|October 9, 1999||
I am ready to own up for BJP's debacle: Kalyan
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh today met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani to apprise them of the post-poll political scenario in the Hindi heartland.
At the meeting, the first between Singh and top party leaders after the BJP won only 29 seats in UP, the chief minister told them he would be willing to analyse ''minutely'' the party's constituency-wise results in the state since he considers it as ''not merely a defeat of the party, but a debacle.''
The meeting was held amid speculations that the chief minister might be eased out of office consequent to the party's crushing defeat in the state in the general election.
The chief minister had owned up responsibility for the party's ''debacle'' in the state and said he was ready to accept any decision of the party leadership, evidently to puncture the mounting pressure for his resignation immediately.
The demand for his resignation was diluted when state BJP president Rajnath Singh also took responsibility for the party losing half of the almost 60 seats it had won in 1998.
Kalyan Singh said a ''wave of casteism'' and tactical voting by the Muslims were largely responsible for the BJP's defeat. The Samajwadi Party picked up 26 seats even though it polled a less percentage of votes compared to the last election.
Though the BJP secured 29 per cent of the votes -- seven per cent less than the previous poll -- its number of seats came down from 57 to 29, he said.
Kalyan Singh claimed that Muslims did not vote en bloc for any party in the state. ''They voted only for the winning candidates,'' he said.
The chief minister refused to accept that there would be political instability in UP due to the ruling party's poor electoral performance. He asserted that his government would last its full five year term.
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