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Attack on Maharani gathers steam

New Delhi, Nov. 26: In a surprise attack on its ally’s coalition partner, the Samata Party today joined Mulayam Singh Yadav and others in the Lok Sabha in blasting Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayavati for ignoring constitutional norms.

Participating in a debate started by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam on the Uttar Pradesh situation, Samata MP Prabhunath Singh said whatever was happening in the state was “not proper” and that Mayavati was behaving like a “maharani”.

Prabhunath, whose party is an ally of the BJP, said the chief minister should prove her majority on the floor of the Assembly. He warned that if Rajputs and Yadavs come together in the state, “others will not be able to even reach the voting booths”.

Mulayam said a parliamentary committee should be formed to go into political developments in the state, while Congress leader Prakash Jaiswal wanted the Centre to issue a directive to the Bahujan Samaj Party-BJP government to prove its majority.

Most Opposition members demanded a special Assembly session to prove the government’s strength and pressed for the recall of Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, who, they alleged, was “acting in an unconstitutional” manner. Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani would reply to the debate on Thursday.

“Uttar Pradesh MLAs are demanding a special session.... It should be convened and the government should prove its majority,” Prabhunath said.

Suggesting that the BSP-BJP tie-up was not natural, he said politics of power makes strange bedfellows as the BSP was once known for attacking the BJP and the politics it practised. Criticising the chief minister for “targeting” Independent MLA Raja Bhaiyya, he said the MLA was an “honest” man as long as he supported the Mayavati government.

Mulayam accused the Governor of playing a “partisan role in shielding the minority government” and charged him with being the custodian not of the Constitution but that of the Mayavati government. He also lashed out at the chief minister for “ruthlessly” dealing with her detractors, especially some of the Independent MLAs who had withdrawn support.

Jaiswal said the recent byelection to the legislative council had proved that the BSP-BJP combine was in a minority. The combine could muster only 193 votes in the 403-member House. “The Governor must maintain dignity of his constitutional position and convene a session of the Assembly asking the chief minister to prove her majority,” he added.

BJP member Swami Chinmayanand sought to turn the tables on the Samajwadi. He accused Mulayam of creating a period of uncertainty when he was chief minister in 1989 and alleged that the Samajwadi chief was the first to give tickets to criminal elements.

“Criminalisation of politics was started in Uttar Pradesh by Yadav who also put in jail his adversaries, including me, when he became chief minister for the first time in 1989,” Chinmayanand said.

As the debate intensified, Somnath Chatterjee of the CPM wanted to know what principles had brought parties like the BJP and the BSP together and condemned the “musical chair” of chief ministership. Chatterjee accused the Governor of ignoring the spirit of the Constitution and asked him not to be influenced by his “mentors” in the RSS.

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