Friday, Sep 05, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Addressing her first press conference here after her resignation, Ms. Mayawati accused the NDA convener, George Fernandes, the BJP general secretary, Pramod Mahajan, the Agriculture Minister, Rajnath Singh, and Lalji Tandon, senior BJP Minister in her erstwhile Government of "pressurising the Prime Minister'' to bring down her Government.
"Mr. Advani and even the Prime Minister were against bringing down my Government, but this group managed to have its way," she said.
Alleging that these leaders were threatening and intimidating her family members and her supporters by using the CBI, she said: "After Mulayam Singh Yadav became the Chief Minister, I have been getting threatening calls warning me against joining hands with any of the secular parties or else they will either get me implicated in the CBI case or even get me eliminated." Mr. Advani had been informed of the developments.
Much of her ire appeared directed at Lalji Tandon, whom she accused of "conspiring behind her back" to unseat her.
She said that though there was no provision for the position of a Deputy Chief Minister in the agreement she had reached with the BJP central leadership prior to her taking over the reins of the Government, "Mr. Tandon had set his eyes on it and once he realised he would not succeed, he conspired to bring down my Government.''
Ms. Mayawati also came down hard on the new Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, accusing him of taking credit for schemes that she had initiated during her tenure.
"As the Chief Minister, I had taken decisions to supply 14 hours of power to villages and also to pay off the arrears of the sugarcane farmers. How can he claim credit for it," she asked.
She accused Mr. Yadav of setting free hardened criminals from the jails, just to get even with her.
"The rule of law is now over, mafia dons and hardened criminals will now lay down the law under the new Government," she charged.
Asked about possibility of her party aligning with either the Congress or the BJP, Ms. Mayawati initially evaded a direct reply, but made it clear that her party was in no hurry to tie up with other parties.
"We are a national party and we will do whatever is in the interest of the weaker sections of society. There is no question of aligning with any party."
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