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Revolt in Mayavati flock

Lucknow, Nov. 7: Undeterred by Mayavati’s political witch-hunt, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today struck at the very core by fomenting revolt in her Bahujan Samaj Party.

Jai Prakash Yadav, a BSP legislator from eastern Uttar Pradesh, blew the bugle of rebellion. He met Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri this morning to demand that the chief minister be asked to prove her majority at a special session of the Assembly.

Mayavati reacted with vengeance. The rebel MLA was immediately expelled from the party while Gorakhpur police raided his Lucknow residence.

In a statement, Mayavati said FIRs have been registered against Jai Prakash in two separate criminal cases at Belghat and Badhalganj police stations yesterday. “The police is taking action as per law and there was no political background to the cases registered against Yadav.”

The development has given a new dimension to the beleaguered government, already rocked by revolt within her coalition partners, the BJP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

Jai Prakash told Shastri he was being victimised by the chief minister. “I know that I will be arrested by this evening but even if Mayavati sets up 50 criminal cases against me, I will not change my stand,” he told reporters after meeting Shastri.

A home department spokesman has said police teams from Gorakhpur have reached the capital to arrest the MLA who reportedly went underground after meeting Shastri, added PTI.

Jai Prakash claimed that revolt was brewing in the BSP and others would join him soon. Lashing out at Mayavati, he said: “She treats legislators like slaves and humiliates us at every available opportunity.”

BJP legislator Ravindra Singh Pundir, who accompanied Jai Prakash to Raj Bhavan, said 50 BSP MLAs were ready to join the rebel camp and were “just waiting for an opportune moment to strike”.

Shastri, who has so far refused the demands of seven Independents and 12 BJP dissident MLAs to convene a special session, refused to meet reporters after this morning’s development.

This is the first time that the BSP has been rocked by rebellion when Mayavati holds the reigns, though the party has proved susceptible to rifts the moment it has been thrown out of power.

Sources indicated at least six more MLAs could knock on the gates of Raj Bhavan with similar complaints. “Her directive to the BSP MLAs to prepare for snap polls seems to have triggered a panic reaction,” they said.

“There is a limit to our patience,” complained one MLA. “It has been six months and every movement of ours is viewed with suspicion just because we belong to an upper caste. Even officers in the CM secretariat question us if we are seen talking to an Opposition MLA.”

Even as BSP legislators are showing signs of increasing unrest, the Mayavati government is going ahead with pro-active police action against her opponents. A case for beating up a train coach attendant has been registered against the leader of the Opposition, Mohammed Azam Khan, while action against the others have been expedited.

Rebel BJP MLC Awadh Pal Singh, whose uncle was arrested last week, was today slapped with another criminal case of extortion and intimidation.

But BJP leader Lalji Tandon said the cases were not a result of political victimisation “as was being painted by the media”. He said that if he came across any case that had been registered only to politically victimise a legislator, he would stand up against it. Tandon also asserted the government still had a majority and there was no reason to convene an Assembly session.

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