Mayawati withdraws support to UPA govt

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New Delhi, Jun 22: Bahujan Samajwadi Party which has 19 members in Lok Sabha on Saturday, June 21 withdrew support to the Congress led UPA government. The decision was announced by BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

Mayawati, however, categorically ruled out any alliance with the BJP, rumours about which have been doing rounds in political circles of late. The withdrawal does not pose an immediate threat to the UPA government which is propped up by the 59-member Left parties. The UPA with 237 members in the Lok Sabha is 35 short of simple majority. The Lok Sabha has an effective strength of 543. She also refused to answer questions in regard to her party's stand on the proposed Indo-US nuclear deal. She said her party was constrained to part company with the UPA which had miserably failed to check inflation and the rise in prices of essential commodities, especially food items, and was pursuing policies which were not in the interest of the common man, and of her state.

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However, she parried a question as to whether she would be supporting a no-confidence motion against the UPA government if brought in by the BJP or the Left in the coming monsoon session of Parliament, saying any decision in this regard would depend on the issue involved in such a motion and whether it was in the interest of the nation and the 'sarva samaj'(all sections of the society).

The UP Chief Minister said the Centre was giving a step-motherly treatment to the state, and made special mention of the rejection of her demand for a Rs 80,000 crore package for the backward Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand regions of the state.

The support withdrawal comes amidst reports of possible rapproachment between the Samajwadi party of her arch rival Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Congress. The two, the political analysts feel, could come together in view of the increasing base of the BSP in the state, and attempts being made by Ms Mayawati to extend it beyond the state.

The relations between the Congress and the BSP had recently hit a new low with Mayawati openly accusing the Congress leadership of conspiring to eliminate her, and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi later launching an all out campaign against the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh.

The Left parties said move would not destabilise the government but maintained that the UPA leadership will have to explain as to why the Bahujan Samaj Party withdrew its support to the government.

The Left parties' guarded reaction came after the newspersons asked them about the political fallout of the BSP's decision, which has further pushed the ruling coalition to the wall.

''The BSP's decision to withdraw its support will not endanger the government's longevity, as it did not depend on its support,'' said A B Bardhan, the veteran Communist and freedom fighter.

To a specific query, whether inflation touching 11.05 per cent, a 13-year high, coupled with Mayawati's decision to withdraw support, had not weakened the UPA's keenness to execute the Nuclear Deal, the CPI leader said, ''If the government still did so, it will dig its own grave.''

The BJP on the other hand termed the BSP's withdrawal of support as an indication that the UPA coalition was tottering and the final countdown for the fall had begun.

Mayawati said she will sent a letter to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil informing her of the party's decision. She said copies of the letter have also been sent to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

In her letter to the President, she said her party had extended support to the UPA government in the hope that it would fight the communal forces and work in the interest of the common man, especially weaker section but the government failed to achieve any of these objectives.

She said due to the wrong economic policies of the UPA government, the inflation had shot up beyond control and the unprecedented rise in the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas, besides food items had made it difficult for the common man to make both ends meet.

The BSP chief also subjected both the Congress and the BJP to scathing attack on various counts. The Congress on the other hand asserted that the withdrawal of support by Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would not affect the Government, and the reasons given by her for her decision were ''not sustainable''.

''The withdrawal of support by the BSP to the UPA Government will not affect the Government as it is in a majority,'' Congress AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh told mediapersons. When asked about rising inflation, he said it was a global phenomenon.


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