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Thursday, October 18, 2001

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43 BSP MLAs quit, seek dissolution of House

By Our Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW, OCT. 17. With the resignation of 43 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs from the Uttar Pradesh State Assembly today, 152 Opposition members have quit the House to press their demand for the dissolution of the Assembly followed by fresh elections. The BSP MLAs led by their leader, Ms. Mayawati, went to the Speaker, Mr. Kesrinath Tripathi, and handed over their resignations individually. The resignation letters were found in order and, accordingly, accepted by the Speaker.

Talking to newspersons earlier, Ms. Mayawati said the mandate given by the electorate to the Assembly expired today as five years had already elapsed since the constitution of the House. She demanded immediate dissolution of the Assembly to hold fresh elections.

Ms. Mayawati said even if a ``trace of morality was left in the Chief Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh,'' he should immediately resign. And if the BJP decided to extend the tenure of the present House, it would only mean that it had lost all hope to return to power after the elections and wanted to continue its rule as long as possible.

The Speaker today rejected the resignations of the Congress members submitted yesterday as these were conditional in nature. The Congress members had said in their letters that the resignations should be accepted, if the Assembly was not dissolved by October 17. The Speaker said conditional resignation letters could not be accepted under the rules.

Insiders said opinion was sharply divided among Congress MLAs over the question of resigning from the Assembly. It was following strong directives from the high command that a face- saving formula was worked out and a decision was taken to submit conditional resignations. Sources said it was amply clear to the Congress members that these resignations could not be accepted.

Rajnath stand

PTI reports:

The Chief Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, ruled out dissolution of the Vidhan Sabha and said the resignations would have no effect on his Government. The Election Commission was also of the view that the tenure of the Assembly was till March next, he said.

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