Home India HT This Day: April 26, 2002 — UP deal struck

HT This Day: April 26, 2002 — UP deal struck

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A BJP-BSP coalition government is likely to be installed in UP by Monday The BJP intensified efforts to put together the coalition, asking senior UP leaders on Thursday to tell BSP leader Mayawati that they would not make an issue of the deputy chief minister’s post.

In return, the BJP expects the BSP to vote in favour of the government when the Opposition-backed censure vote comes up in Parliament on April 30. Besides, the support of the BSP is crucial for the NDA in the presidential elections in July The BJP’s move is significant because the Centre wants the BJP-BSP coalition in place before the May 8 deadline for Parliament to approve an extension of President’s rule in the state.

UP BJP leaders Kalraj Mishra and Lalji Tandon met Mayawati after Home Minister L.K. Advani asked them not to delay the formation of a government in Lucknow Tandon, who along with Om Prakash Singh was a strong contender for the deputy chief minister’s post, had taken strong exception to BSP chief Kanshi Ram’s earlier statement on the issue.

Mishra and Tandon told Mayawati on Thursday that the BJP was not pressing its demand and wanted to go ahead with other aspects of the deal.

Senior BJP leader Kushabhau Thakre, in charge of UP, said, “The coalition in UP is likely to be in place by Monday we want to end the political uncertainty in the state.”

A meeting of the BJP parliamentary board is expected to be called to reverse the earlier decision that the party would sit in Opposition.

UP BJP leaders and Mayawati agreed that their common objective was to avoid fresh elections and deny an opportunity to the Samajwadi Party to form a coalition.

Later, Mayawati, Mishra and Tandon told reporters that the BJP and BSP would form a government in UP and would formally announce their pact once all the details were worked out. “All issues were discussed. Everything has been finalised and it (the coalition) will be announced at an appropriate time,” they said.

Both sides said the controversy over the deputy chief minister’s post was created by the media and had never been an issue between the two parties.

The leaders did not comment on the proposal to form a co-ordination committee under former UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, saying all details would be divulged once the deal was finalised.

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