The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pedal protest against Mayavati
Black Cat commandos escort Mulayam Singh Yadav as he leads the bicycle rally in Lucknow. (AFP)

Lucknow, April 23: The political war in Uttar Pradesh raged unabated as chief minister Mayavati directed the state CID to speed up Mulayam Singh Yadav’s trial in the state guesthouse case, while the Samajwadi Party leader stamped his defiance by addressing a huge rally here.

Mulayam did not attend the additional judicial magistrate’s court, where the case was scheduled to come up. Instead, he pedalled across the city, leading a procession of party leaders shouting: “Bol Mulayam Hulla Bol, Mayavati Ki Khul Gayi Pol. (Lead the charge Mulayam, Mayavati has been exposed)”

Braving the searing heat, Mulayam cycled more than 10 km, making things difficult for the Black Cat commandos escorting him, who had to run the distance to keep up with the leader.

Thousands of Samajwadi leaders, including MLAs and former ministers, followed Mulayam on bicycles, daring the Mayavati government to arrest their leader for violation of the prohibitory orders issued by her government.

Yeh satya ka rasta hain. Jeet aapki hogi (This is the path to truth.Victory will be yours),” Mulayam told his supporters at the whistle-stop meetings held at four places en route.

The temperature, above 43 degrees Celsius, could not keep Mulayam — sporting a red cap — and his flock down. The Samjawadi chief’s voice was firm and strong and the crowd listened to him with rapt attention.

“In what could be a world record of sorts, nearly 137 FIRs were lodged against me in 40 districts on the night of April 13 for alleged misuse of the chief minister’s discretionary fund. Go through CAG reports and you will find that all previous chief ministers and Governors have violated the norms,” he added.

Mulayam alleged that Mayavati’s offensive against him and his party was a symptom of her fear psychosis. “She had come to power through manipulation and opportunistic alliances. The CAG has as many as 143 comments on the misuse of government funds during Mayavati’s five-month tenure in 1995.”

Mulayam noted that while he had donated money from the chief minister’s fund to educational institutions, Mayavati had squandered government money on her birthday bash and luxury items bought for herself and her mentor Kanshi Ram.

Daring the chief minister to face him in the people’s court by resigning and going for fresh Assembly elections, Mulayam said: “The people will judge who has worked for them and who has worked for personal gains, and Mayavati is afraid of facing the people.”

He exhorted party workers to make the May 12 rally in Lucknow a grand success. “This rally should be unprecedented in magnitude to give a befitting reply to rally-savvy Mayavati.”

The additional judicial magistrate’s court adjourned the guesthouse case hearing to May 24 following the CBI’s failure to serve chargesheets and other relevant documents to all the accused.

Mulayam and 67 senior Samajwadi leaders have been charged with attempt to kidnap Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislators and murderous assault on Mayavati when she split the Samajwadi-BSP alliance in 1995.

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