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Samajwadi clams up, others spit fire

Lucknow, Nov. 16: While the Samajwadi Party fumbled for words to explain its government’s affidavit in the Babri demolition case, speculation gained ground that Mulayam Singh Yadav was growing closer to the BJP.

“No comment,” said Samajwadi’s Uttar Pradesh chief Ram Sharan Das, reacting to the state’s defence of the CBI’s omission of criminal conspiracy charge against deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in its supplementary chargesheet of May.

Das added: “The state government’s stand only showed a respect for the judicial process.”

Bahujan Samaj Party’s legislature leader Swami Prasad Maurya found the affidavit a confirmation of his leader Mayavati’s charge that her ouster and Mulayam Singh’s installation as chief minister were part of a conspiracy.

“When the CBI had dropped Section 120B (of the IPC) in the second chargesheet filed against Advani and others in the Rae Bareli court, Mulayam Singh had openly accused the Centre of misusing the CBI. Now that the BJP has obliged him (supposedly by facilitating his installation as chief minister), he has changed tune,” Maurya said.

The change in the chief minister’s stance, he emphasised, started immediately after the swearing-in on August 29.

“When the Rae Bareli court acquitted Advani in September, Mulayam Singh publicly welcomed the verdict,” Maurya said.

Jagdambika Pal, chief of the state Congress that extends outside support to the Samajwadi government, said: “We do not endorse the state government’s view as it amounts to giving the principal perpetrators of the Babri Masjid demolition a clean chit. Mulayam Singh should have consulted his allies before taking a stand on such a sensitive issue.”

“We are shocked. We expected him to issue a fresh notification to facilitate their (the Sangh parivar leaders’) trial in the Lucknow CBI court, where the CBI had originally filed a joint chargesheet against them for criminal conspiracy,” Vijay Shant of the CPM’s state executive said.

“It’s inexplicable that Mulayam Singh is now doing what Mayavati had done. He should keep in mind how the BJP ditched her when its purpose was served,” CPI leader Ashok Mishra warned.

The affidavit amounted to a betrayal of the secular cause, CPI(ML) leader Akhilendra Pratap Singh said.

“When Rajnath Singh helped Advani and company by refusing to issue a fresh notification, he was acting as a BJP chief minister. Mayavati’s refusal to do so could be understood since she headed a government in coalition with the BJP. But Mulayam Singh’s change of stand is nothing short of a sell-out,” he said.

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