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We’ll oppose UPA move to remove Mulayam: Atal

Monday 5 July 2004

LUCKNOW: Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Sunday defended UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav saying though the law and order situation was bad in the state, it did not warrant dismissal of his government, in the arbitrary manner in which Vishnukant Shastri was removed from governor’s post.

"Although I personally feel the Centre could ill-afford to dismiss the state governments, yet any such misadventure will be opposed tooth and nail, both inside and outside Parliament, by the party," he said, while addressing a press conference in the party office here.

Vajpayee said the BJP was in the opposition and not happy with UP’s law and order situation. "We, as a responsible opposition, are rendering our constructive cooperation and criticism, but despite everything, we will not agree to the dismissal of the Yadav government."

Vajpayee asserted that the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya was the only tangible solution to the vexed issue. Refusing to subscribe to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackerey’s suggestion of building a national memorial dedicated to freedom fighter Mangal Pandey on the disputed site, Vajpayee said, "This does not seem to be acceptable."

"I am personally for a mutually negotiated settlement, by both, the Hindus and Muslims and in its absence, the court verdict should be awaited," he said, adding construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya was a matter of faith for Hindus.

As for his isolation within the party on the issue of removal of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Vajpayee said, "I still hold the opinion that whatever happened in Gujarat deserved to be condemned in the severest manner, but at the same time people need to understand that the riots would not have taken place if the railway bogies carrying kar sewaks had not been set on fire."

He further clarified he never said the electoral reverses suffered by the BJP in Lok Sabha were due to the Gujarat riots.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Monday, July 05, 2004.

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