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CM calls on Atal, Advani

New Delhi, Sept. 11: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav today called on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy, L.K. Advani, separately.

The Samajwadi Party chief declined to divulge details of his meetings, saying he was making “courtesy calls”. This is Mulayam Singh’s first visit to Delhi after he became chief minister in place of former BJP ally Mayavati.

The meetings gain importance in view of the fact that the CBI will soon file chargesheets against Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other BJP and Sangh parivar leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Asked about the Samajwadi’s stand on the chargesheet, party general secretary Amar Singh yesterday parried the question saying “the matter is sub judice”.

Mulayam Singh also called on Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh at his residence and held detailed discussions on expanding the Uttar Pradesh ministry and constitution of a coordination committee to run the coalition government smoothly.

Two RLD legislators, Anuradha Chaudhary and Kokab Hamid, were inducted as cabinet ministers in Mulayam Singh’s first expansion, two days before proving his strength on the floor of the House on September 8.

The Congress, which still suspects that Mulayam Singh has an understanding with the BJP to weaken the BSP and the Congress and prevent the two from joining hands in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, has not yet made up its mind on joining his government.

Mulayam Singh yesterday called on Sonia Gandhi and made a strong case for Congress participation in his coalition government. He asked the party leadership to reconsider its decision to give outside support.

The chief minister even told reporters that it was a “mistake” to have opposed Sonia in 1999 on the ground of her origin.

He said a coordination committee would be formed after consultations with all the coalition partners, including the Rashtriya Kranti Party of former chief minister Kalyan Singh and the Apna Dal.

The Samajwadi parliamentary party, which met here yesterday under Mulayam Singh’s chairmanship, discussed the proposed expansion and shape of the Uttar Pradesh ministry. The parliamentary board decided to authorise the party chief to select the new team.

The meeting took stock of the political situation in Uttar Pradesh and the four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi — going to polls towards the end of the year.

It also decided to hold a party national executive at Jamshedpur between September 24 and 26 to finalise the electoral strategy for the four poll-bound states.

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