The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mayavati tells BJP to rein in Rajnath

New Delhi, April 17: Mayavati has told the BJP leadership that she would not brook any potshots from the partner’s big guns on her “legal” crackdown on Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Mayavati’s tough talk came a day after senior BJP leaders Pramod Mahajan and Rajnath Singh criticised the Uttar Pradesh government’s action against Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh.

In a veiled warning to the BJP central leadership, she said: “Some parties and some persons are agitated because they have some personal interests and affinities. Whether their mass base is dwindling or not, they are not bothered.”

Livid at Rajnath for his reported statement that FIRs against a former chief minister were improper, Mayavati said she hoped it was his personal remarks, not that of the BJP. She said she would take up the matter with senior BJP leaders.

Rajnath, a former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, had opposed in vain his party’s decision to join the BSP-led coalition in the state.

“I want to tell Rajnath Singh that before raising a finger at me, he should look into his own backyard,” the BSP leader said.

But she gave the benefit of doubt to Mahajan, saying she had not read his reported comments and that they could have been made for lack of “proper information” on the issue.

Mayavati, who had earlier given a call to Dalits to convert to Buddhism, said she is against any anti-conversion law, a pet theme of the BJP. “I feel that the issue should not be linked to politics. Everyone should have the freedom to opt for the religion he or she likes,” the chief minister told reporters today.

Mayavati, however, dismissed suggestions that her actions would strain her coalition with the BJP.

Mayavati said that after Kalyan Singh became chief minister by pulling down her government and when Rajnath Singh was Uttar Pradesh BJP president, a “false” case was filed against her on the allegation that she made money out of purchase of float pumps.

But, the chief minister added, she did not pay a “single paisa” more than what the then Governor, Moitlal Vohra, paid when the state was under President’s rule.

“An FIR was filed against me and this Rajnath Singh did not utter a word. When action is taken against the daughter of a Dalit, no one speaks up. Is it not manuvad'” she asked.

The chief minister said she was forced to convene a press conference in the national capital as Samajwadi leaders were trying to confuse people over the FIRs against “Mulayam Singh Yadav and company”.

Rejecting the charge that political vendetta was the real reason for the cases, she said Yadav had “violated” norms while disbursing money from the chief minister’s discretionary fund.

“Whatever we have done is not out of political vengeance, but as per rules. When Yadav was chief minister before April 7, 1994, he had violated the norms and rules while disbursing money from the discretionary fund.”

Accusing the Samajwadi of attempting to confuse the issue, she said separate FIRs were being filed against the beneficiaries who had put the funds to improper use.

The BSP leader ridiculed apprehensions expressed by Yadav that she would detain him under the anti-terrorism law, saying that there was no plan for any such move.

She brushed aside demands that the probe into the alleged fake compact discs against her be entrusted with the CBI. She said the state police were “quite competent” to inquire into the matter.

The Samajwadi, she said, was rapidly losing popular support and that is why “they are indulging in the manufacture of fake CDs”.

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