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SP parades 30 rebel BSP MLAs, claims support of 3 others

Written by: Staff

Lucknow, Mar 2 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh witnessed more political drama today as hours after the fifth BSP rebel MLA expressed willingness to leave SP and rejoin his old party, the ruling party paraded before the media, 30 out of a total of 38 MLAs from the rebel group.

The Samajwadi Party claimed that it had the support of 33 MLAs from the BSP rebel group who had joined it in September, 2003.

''While 30 are present before you, three others Kutubddin Ansari, Virendra Bundela and Nawab Kazim Ali, have already exprssed their willingess to continue with us,'' said senior SP leader and state PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav.

Mr Yadav claimed that while Mr Ansari was busy with a marriage in the family, Mr Bundela was indisposed. 'Nawab Kazim Ali is out of town,'' he added.

While 40 MLAs from BSP had merged with the SP in September, 2003, five of them met the Governor yesterday and today and expressed willingess to rejoin BSP. Two of the 40 MLAs Udaybhan Singh and Ram Bual Nishad have since been disqualified from the house.

While Singh was convicted in a murder case, Nishad was found guilty in a poll-related case.

The SP leadership claimed that the five MLAs -- including two ministers Surendra Vikram Singh and Jaiveer Singh, Dharam Pal Singh heading UP State Poultry and Livestock Corporation, Ramji Shukla and Ram Krishna, heading UP Development Systems Corporation (UPDESCO) -- would be served with notices seeking their disqualification from the Assembly.

While Chief Minister Mulyam Singh Yadav was in New Delhi, several ministers of his government were present on the occasion.

Addressing reporters yesterday, Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey had said that the MLAs who had met the Governor might be disqualified from the Assembly, ''as a February 28 Allahabad High Court order, in the rebel MLA case, had recognised the group as Loktantrik Bahujan Dal (LBD).'' UNI NAB ARS RA KP2106

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