The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Deserted Mayavati in Babri backlash

Lucknow, Aug. 28: Mayavati today claimed national leaders of the BJP had sought her help in withdrawing the Babri Masjid demolition case against top Sangh parivar leaders, including deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi.

“They wanted me not to issue notification in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case and even requested me to withdraw cases against senior BJP leaders. But I declined and ordered that the case should continue in Rae Bareli court,” she said.

The former chief minister, however, refused to name those who had purportedly approached her. She said she would do so “at the right time”.

Stung by the desertion of 13 of her MLAs, the Bahujan Samaj Party leader accused the BJP and the Samajwadi Party of conspiring against her. “Because as chief minister I refused to toe the line of the BJP leadership, they connived with the Samajwadi Party chief to dislodge my government,” she said.

Itching to teach the BJP a lesson, she spared Samajwadi chief Mulayam Singh Yadav her fire to train all guns on her former ally.

Mayavati even resigned from the Assembly to avoid facing Mulayam on the floor of the House and, instead, concentrate on the four states scheduled to go to the polls later this year.

“A letter in this regard (resignation) has already been sent to Speaker Kesari Nath Tripathi and now I will devote my time in carrying out a campaign against the communal BJP,” she said.

Mayavati warned the BJP against trying to defame her in the Taj heritage corridor case. She claimed to have “definite information” that some senior party leaders wanted to implicate her in the case now being probed by the CBI. “If the BJP indulged in any such misadventure, the BSP would teach them a lesson...I will wage a war against the BJP not only in Uttar Pradesh but across the length and breadth of the country,” she said.

Her flak for Mulayam was confined to accusing his men of “kidnapping” the MLAs who had ditched her party, in a letter to governor Vishnu Kant Shastri. She regretted the governor was not discharging his constitutional obligation to prevent horsetrading.

Mayavati, however, appeared unaffected perhaps because she knew that the desertions would not affect her Dalit vote bank. “After each of her stints as chief minister, groups of MLAs have been defecting to the rival camp. But the party’s vote bank has continued to rise steadily,” a senior BSP leader insisted.

He said most of the deserters who went to Raj Bhavan were Thakurs, Yadavs and Muslims. “Such opportunists are bound to creep into a party that appears capable of wresting power through its solid Bahujan vote bank. Their loss is no loss to the party.”

“Many great leaders, who had been in the Bahujan movement since the beginning, deserted the party in the past. But our vote share has increased from 8 per cent in 1991 to 27 per cent in the 2002 Assembly elections,” he emphasised.

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