The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mayavati rivals eye BJP for numbers

New Delhi, June 4: Over a dozen BJP and Independent legislators figure prominently in the Opposition’s number game to topple the Mayavati government in Uttar Pradesh.

Disclosing this in the capital today, newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Congress president Jagdambika Pal said his party was actively cooperating with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and former Union minister Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal to topple the Mayavati-led BSP-BJP coalition.

Pal, who is scheduled to formally take charge at Lucknow tomorrow, however, remained non-committal on the leadership issue. Speaking to newsmen informally, Pal seemed reluctant to concede the obvious: the leadership of Mulayam. “Leadership is not a problem. There is no dispute over it. We will announce the leader within five minutes of Mayavati losing her majority.”

The state Congress chief said the Mayavati government’s majority status in the Assembly was nothing but a myth. He pointed out that as many as seven of the 12 MLAs — who had gone public announcing withdrawal of support to Mayavati — were yet to retract their move.

Pal said the BJP leadership had written to Assembly Speaker Kesri Nath Tripati, seeking their disqualification. He added that it was not impossible for the Opposition to win over at least a third of the Independents currently supporting the government.

If the Mayavati government was still surviving, Pal said it was because of Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri’s support and the blessing of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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