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8 BSP rebels, Congress and 5 Independents boost Mulayam's chances

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | August 27, 2003 16:56 IST
Last Updated: August 27, 2003 18:10 IST

Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav's is inching closer to his dream of becoming Uttar Pradesh chief minister for the second time with the Congress, eight Bahujan Samaj Party legislators and five Independents on Wednesday extending support to him.

His brother Shivpal Yadav paraded the BSP legislators before Governor Vishnukant Shastri, at the Raj Bhavan in Lucknow, on Wednesday evening. The MLAs told Shastri they did not want fresh elections or President's rule in the state and the best way forward is for Mulayam to form the government.

However, since the BSP has 110 MLAs in the assembly, it is not clear how the rebels will overcome the anti-defection law. A split would be considered legal only if it involved at least one-third of the MLAs.

The arithmetic (cited by the SP):
Samajwadi Party: 142 MLAs
Congress: 16
RLD: 14
RKP: 4
CPI-M: 2
Smaller parties and independents: 19
The total: 197

If the eight BSP MLAs are included, it adds up to 205 MLAs in the 403-member assembly.

The SP is citing this figure while calling upon the governor to invite Mulayam Singh Yadav to form the government. It will take advantage of the fact that the anti-defection law will not come into affect immediately and will not hamper government formation.

Earlier, the 16-member Congress also rallied behind Mulayam.

UP Congress Committee president Jagdambika Pal and Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari met the governor and gave him a letter in this regard.

Tiwari claimed that barring the BSP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (87 MLAs), all other political outfits in the state are in favour of a Mulayam-led government.

Since no opposition MLA has given in writing that he/she is not in favour of Mulayam, the governor should not have any hesitation in giving the SP leader an oppotunity to form the government, Tiwari said in Lucknow.

"Constitutionally the next session of the Vidhan Sabha should be convened before September 5 and the budget should be passed before September 30," he added.

Mulayam should be given time till September 4 to prove his majority in the House, failing which imposition of President's rule should be considered, he added.

Pal said forcing midterm elections would not be in the interest of the state, which is already facing a severe financial crisis.

Meanwhile, a report said five Independents have left the BSP camp and come out in support of Mulayam.

More reports from Uttar Pradesh

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