Debating India

UTTAR PRADESH

Mayawati-bashing at Samajwadi Party meet

Thursday 13 March 2003, by PARSAI*Gargi

Agra March 12: The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati, was the target of criticism at the national executive meeting of the Samajwadi Party, chaired by Mulayam Singh Yadav, here today. The meeting was a prelude to the two-day national council meet beginning tomorrow where the party will finalise its strategy on the U.P. political situation, the alliances in the coming Assembly elections in four States, the ASI excavation at Ayodhya, the Iraq situation and the budget. A resolution will be adopted on the issue tomorrow.

The meeting criticised the Government for being "indecisive" on the Iraq situation and said the Prime Minister’s statement today was an "eyewash". "India should categorically oppose the hegemony of the United States on the issue and should join other European nations in bringing pressure on the U.S. to desist from war-mongering. India is a signatory to a joint declaration at the recently held Non-Aligned Movement Conference in Malaysia and should take a firm stand on the issue.’’

Briefing mediapersons later, the general secretary, Amar Singh, lashed out at Ms. Mayawati for equating herself with national leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, S. Radhakrishnan and Charan Singh to justify the celebration of her birthday as `sadbhavna diwas’.

He charged the BSP with giving protection to criminals, and accused Ms. Mayawati of being "a mafia queen". If Ms. Mayawati chose to "arrest senior SP leaders under POTA, as is the apprehension, then the BSP-BJP alliance will turn to ashes".

On the recent statement of the VHP’s Praveen Togadia, seeking cooperation from political parties on Ayodhya, Mr. Singh said "Ayodhya is not an election issue at all. They (BJP) are trying to make it one so that they can retain power. Rama was not a confrontatist."

A senior party leader said the SP executive and council meetings were being held in Agra to instil confidence in the local Muslim population who were feeling insecure with the recent VHP-RSS campaign in the city.

Regretting that the Government had turned down the demand for an investigation into the `Mayawati tape’ scandal, Mr. Singh alleged that the BJP was playing into the hands of Ms. Mayawati for retaining power. "The tapes - Tehelka II - are a mirror which show the true face of Mayawati." He said the recent no-confidence vote won by the U.P. Government had given Ms. Mayawati a breathing space for six months. "She is now poaching."

See online : The Hindu

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