The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mayavati gift for freshers

Lucknow, Feb. 4: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayavati today inducted in her ministry all four Akhil Bharatiya Congress Dal MLAs who joined the Bahujan Samaj Party yesterday.

She extended an open invitation to the four MLAs left in the ABCD and others to join the BSP. “Our doors are open for other MLAs,” she said after the new ministers took oath at Raj Bhavan.

“It’s a clear indication that party-hopping will be the name of the game in the coming months,” said a seasoned state politician. Mayavati was in touch with MLAs of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and smaller parties such as Apna Dal, he said.

The Congress and the Samajwadi boycotted the swearing-in, saying whatever was happening in Raj Bhavan was undemocratic and against the norms.

The ministerial shuffle today re-established Mayavati’s tight grip on her MLAs as 13 BSP ministers submitted their resignations to the Governor in the morning without any protest.

Of the 13, she reinducted four but demoted them from ministers of state with independent charge to ministers of state.

“We have nothing to say and are ready to serve in any capacity in which behenji (Mayavati) wants us to work for the party,” said a Bahujan Samaj legislator who lost the ministerial berth.

The four former ABCD members sworn in today have been made ministers of state with independent charge. They include Kazim Ali, son of Rampur Congress MP Noor Bano; Shyam Narain; Kameshwar Upadhyaya and Virendra Singh Bundela.

Those left in the ABCD are keeping their options open. “We have already extended unconditional support to the Mayavati government and those who have joined the Bahujan Samaj have not broken ties with us,” said expelled Congress MLA Akhilesh Singh, who led the first split.

After the swearing-in, Mayavati defended awarding the ABCD defectors. “When others can go for a split, why can’t we'” she said.

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