The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cong warms to Mulayam to oust Mayavati

New Delhi, Sept. 18: Opposition parties and Muslim bodies stood Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayavati in the firing-line today, alleging that she buried the Babri demolition case against L.K. Advani under pressure from ally and big brother BJP.

First off the block was the Congress, which said Mayavati’s refusal to issue a fresh notification was a “crude” attempt to curry favour with persons in authority and an “ugly example” of the principle of natural justice being compromised with political expediency.

“We believe it was part of a tacit understanding at the time of formation of a coalition government in UP that Mayavati would not issue notifications,” said spokesman Anand Sharma.

More important, the Congress indicated it was willing to join hands with Mulayam Singh Yadav and “secular formations” in “dislodging” the “communal” Mayavati. The Congress offer is likely to trigger off a chain reaction in the Hindi heartland and could seal its ties with the Samajwadi Party in Gujarat as part of a quid pro quo.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board termed Mayavati’s statement a “betrayal” and wondered how she could change “colour” so fast. “A few months ago, she was busy telling the UP electorate how the then chief minister Rajnath Singh was shielding L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti by refusing to issue the notification,” said Kamal Farooqui, a board member. He said Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh now had ample reason to “feel cheated”.

But he added that the personal law board and other organisations like the Babri Masjid Action Committee and Milli Council would continue to seek legal redress. He said a team of Muslim leaders would call on the President and seek his intervention to safeguard the rule of law.

The Congress, too, said it would not allow the spirit of the Constitution and the rule of law to be subverted. Spokesman Sharma said the Congress would oppose Mayavati with its “full might”. In a clear message to Mulayam, he said the Congress was prepared to “go along” with him to topple Mayavati.

The Left parties alleged that Mayavati had connived with the BJP. “It is obvious that Mayavati has taken this decision under pressure and connivance with the BJP leaders to save the BSP-BJP coalition government in UP. It reveals to what length the BJP leadership can go to circumvent the law,” a CPM politburo statement said.

It added that Mayavati had provided reprieve to the BJP leadership on the specious plea that the CBI could initiate the case in any ordinary court. “When the case is not going on in the special court in almost 10 years, one can well imagine what will be its fate in an ordinary court where the proceedings will have to take place afresh,” the CPM said, urging the President to intervene.

Mulayam said his worst fears about the BSP leadership had come true. “It was all part of well-defined strategy to bail out the tainted trio,” he said.

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