The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Katiyar allays coalition fears

Lucknow, March 30: With two days to go before BJP legislators from Uttar Pradesh meet central leaders, state party president Vinay Katiyar today said a review of the BSP-BJP coalition was not on the agenda.

“The Mayavati government will last its full term and there is no question of reviewing the coalition at this stage,” Katiyar told reporters. “The primary objective of the exercise is that we discuss the state of the party in Uttar Pradesh and how to prepare for future electoral battles.”

BJP legislators have been summoned to the capital for a meeting with deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and BJP president Venkaiah Naidu.

“We have requested the Prime Minister to either call the state BJP legislators for tea at his residence or make himself available during the meeting,” Katiyar said.

Katiyar’s statement reflected a marked shift in the state BJP’s stance after the party high command had pulled them up for creating trouble for chief minister Mayavati two months ago.

Since then, the Mayavati government has survived a no-confidence motion by the Opposition and the rebellion among BJP legislators has subsided. The two remaining dissidents — Kovid Kumar Singh, a member of the Assembly, and Ramasheesh Rai — are still under suspension and have not been invited for the Delhi meeting.

However, if the mood of the BJP legislators is any indication, it might be difficult to stop them from raising contentious issues about Mayavati’s style of functioning.

Katiyar ruled out the possibility of discussing the use of anti-terror law against the chief minister’s political opponents like Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh and others — the issue had evoked strong protests from a section of state leaders.

But the MLAs may be allowed to voice their grievances against Mayavati if they think the party’s electoral chances in the state are being affected, he added.

The entire BJP legislature party will come face to face with the central leadership for the first time after the BSP-BJP coalition was forged last year despite vocal opposition from several leaders.

“An impression is being created among the people that Mayavati calls all the shots and runs her government to further only the BSP’s political agenda. We would certainly acquaint our leaders with the ground realities,” said an MLA, preferring anonymity.

The limited agenda of the meeting has encouraged chief minister Mayavati to ignore the exercise and go ahead with her campaign to broaden the BSP’s support base in Uttar Pradesh and other states, political observers said.

Mayavati has already won the support of MLAs from smaller parties like the Apana Dal and the Rashtriya Parivartan Party and this is disturbing a section of state BJP leaders.

Former state BJP president Kalraj Mishra said “party legislators will inform the national leadership about the present state of the organisation in Uttar Pradesh and seek directions about how to prepare for the future”.

Email This Page