The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mulayam bats for new friend

New Delhi/Lucknow, Sept. 22: Chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav today changed his earlier stand against Amarmani Tripathi and vowed not to ditch his new ally.

“Tripathi has saved Uttar Pradesh... He has helped in saving the country. Irrespective of what action the CBI or the court takes, there will be no action from Samajwadi Party (against him),” Mulayam Singh said in Delhi.

His party’s Uttar Pradesh chief Ram Saran Das added: “Unlike Mayavati, we don’t ditch our friends and allies.”

A month ago, the Samajwadi had criticised then chief minister Mayavati for “shielding” her cabinet colleague. Tripathi, who was arrested yesterday by the CBI in the Madhumita Shukla murder case, was then forced to resign after strident Opposition protests.

Later, Tripathi had ditched the Bahujan Samaj Party for the Samajwadi when Mulayam Singh was about to form the Uttar Pradesh government. He supported the chief minister in the trust vote.

The CBI today presented Tripathi before the magistrate in Lucknow, asking for his custody for further interrogation. The magistrate, however, remanded him in judicial custody till October 6 after the defence counsel argued that the bureau had already interrogated Tripathi several times.

The court asked the CBI to inform by tomorrow what it expected from Tripathi’s further custody. “Till the court is satisfied, he will remain in judicial custody,” the magistrate said.

Late last night, Tripathi was taken to a VIP guesthouse in Dalibagh after he was examined and treated at a government hospital following complaints of chest pain.

Hordes of his supporters and reporters had gathered at the guesthouse, where Tripathi was lodged in a second-floor room with two police guards posted outside. As he was being brought out, a more confident-looking Tripathi said: “The CBI has committed a big mistake and you will see me coming out with flying colours soon.”

The bureau claimed that evidence against Tripathi was clinching. “In addition to the matching DNA prints (of his blood sample and Madhumita’s foetus), we have evidence of how he hired the assassins,” an official said. CBI sleuths claimed to have got the evidence from Raju Pandey, an undertrial at Pilibhit jail.

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