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Governor boost to Mayavati

Lucknow, Nov. 2: Boosted by the Governor’s refusal to treat the submission of the 12 BJP rebels as “withdrawal of support”, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayavati today asserted there was no threat to her government.

Mayavati, who completes six months in office tomorrow, ruled out a special session of the Assembly. “It is unnecessary since I continue to enjoy majority in the House,” she said at a news conference, challenging Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to prove that he had the backing of 204 MLAs, including 37 BJP rebels.

Mayavati claimed her government would last its full term and tried to convince those present that the revolt in the BJP was a temporary phase. “Such differences crop up in every political outfit now and then but they are soon sorted out,” she said.

But a determined Samajwadi pressed on with its efforts to topple the government, as dissidence within the BJP showed no sign of abating. The party is preparing to send another “suicide squad” of BJP rebels to Raj Bhavan soon to mount pressure on Vishnu Kant Shastri.

“If Shastri behaves like an RSS activist instead of a constitutional authority, we will gherao Raj Bhavan and expose him,” Shiva Pal Singh Yadav, general secretary of the party’s state unit warned.

Yadav pointed out that in a similar situation in 1995, Motilal Vora, who was Governor then, had dismissed Mulayam without giving him a chance to prove his majority in the House.

Raj Bhavan sources maintained that there has been no change in the situation after Samajwadi legislators met Shastri yesterday claiming support of 204 MLAs in the 403-member House. “While the Samajwadi claimed that 37 BJP rebels were with it, it has adduced no evidence in support of the claim. Even the 12 BJP MLAs who met the Governor did not say they were withdrawing support to Mayavati,” a Raj Bhavan spokesman said.

With the backroom play in full swing, Speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi — the BJP’s second line of defence — left for Allahabad. Before leaving Lucknow, Tripathi indicated that so far, the BJP legislature party has not filed any petition to him seeking disqualification of any of the rebel MLAs.

Observers feel that unless something dramatic happens, the war of words is likely to continue as the Congress is still undecided on supporting Mulayam. BJP state unit chief Vinay Katiyar asserted there was no threat to the coalition government and claimed some progress in talks with the rebels, but there was no evidence to support his claim.

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