The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mulayam ‘corrected’

Jamshedpur, Sept. 25: The Samajwadi Party today said the BJP continued to be its Enemy Number One, irrespective of whether the national party was willing to consider an ideological recast.

The Samajwadi national executive here applied this “corrective” on Mulayam Singh Yadav’s “soft-speak” on the BJP yesterday. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister had asked it to dump four pet issues — Ayodhya, Article 370, uniform civil code and opinion on minorities — as a “condition” for a partnership.

“There has been no softening in our approach towards the BJP. The divisive organism that the BJP is, it habitually rakes up emotive issues like Ayodhya and does minority-bashing because it has nothing better to talk about. The question of any relationship with them simply does not arise,” party general secretary Amar Singh said.

But Mulayam Singh’s slip of tongue — as his party tried to put it — had Amar Singh squirming when asked if his party was “thankful” to the BJP for withdrawing support to Mayavati.

Amar Singh, who thanked the Congress, said: “Why should we thank the BJP' The demonic BSP-BJP regime fell under the weight of its own contradictions. We had predicted as much. The BJP is as responsible for the misdeeds of the Mayavati regime as she is. All talk of our changed views on the BJP is a canard.”

Speaking to reporters, Amar Singh said the Rae Bareli court’s indictment of Murli Manohar Joshi and others was a “vindication” of his party’s stand on the Babri Masjid demolition.

“The judgment has made it clear that the top echelons of the BJP and its friendly outfits had a role to play,” he said.

Asked about L.K. Advani’s absolution, he said: “Advaniji has himself expressed surprise over it. Is that not enough'”

After the bouncers at the BJP, Amar Singh batted for the Samajwadi’s new friends — Amarmani Tripathi and Raja Bhaiyya. The party did not wish to “pre-judge” Tripathi.

“A judgment is still awaited. Any media trial of Tripathi, who is a member of our party, is wrong. We do not want to name anyone, but many big politicians have very controversial pasts and can land in similar positions,” Amar Singh said.

Speaking up for the Independent MLA, Amar Singh said Raja Bhaiyya can be described as a “controversial” leader, but he is not a “professional criminal” or an “anti-national”. “Booking him under Pota (the anti-terror law) was a clear act of political vendetta,” Mulayam’s spokesman said.

“Mulayam Singh, his son Akhilesh and I were likely to be booked under Pota or NSA (the National Security Act) by Mayavati. But we will not slap such charges on her,” he added.

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