The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mulayam priority is to undo the past

Lucknow, Aug. 29: Crown firmly in place, chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav got down to undoing as much as possible of what his predecessor had done.

He ordered the withdrawal of the anti-terror law slapped by Mayavati on Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh and others. “I have directed the chief secretary to revoke the anti-terror law slapped against her political adversaries by Mayavati,” the Samajwadi Party chief said at his first news conference after being sworn in Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

The cases against those arrested under the National Security Act and the Goonda Act during the BSP’s reign would also be reviewed, he said.

He repeated his resolve to order an inquiry into corruption charges against Mayavati. “If investigations prove she is guilty of misdeeds, the law will not spare her.”

Mulayam Singh, however, evaded questions on the Ayodhya dispute while iterating his stand to stick by the court’s decision. “Hum samajwadi khatti mithi sabhi tarah ki baatein karte hain. Par aaj sirf mithi baat karoonga, khatti baatein phir kabhi (We socialists are accustomed to talking tough and soft, but today I will talk soft and leave the rest for another day).”

Asked if his government would issue a fresh notification facilitating the trial of deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and other Sangh parivar leaders in the Lucknow court, he said: “I will first discuss the issue with my friends and allies and then take a suitable decision.”

Mulayam Singh made time to ring up Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to thank her for her party’s support. “I have told Sonia Gandhi that I would appreciate if she permits them (her party) to join my ministry. But ultimately it is for her to decide what suits her party best.”

He ridiculed Mayavati’s accusation that his party had connived with the BJP to dislodge her government. “While Mayavati has tied the knot with the BJP again and again, I have always stood against communal forces.”

“I have personal relations with a number of leaders whose politics I do not subscribe to,” Mulayam Singh said when asked about NDA convener George Fernandes’ and BJP leaders Lalji Tandon’s and Kalraj Mishra’s presence at the swearing-in. “I will not even mind going to the residence of Mayavati as a courtesy, provided she allows me entry.”

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