Facing severe criticism from BJP top leaders and the central government over Mathura violence, ruling Samajwadi Party’s chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Wednesday sought to instill confidence in his MLAs asking them not to be afraid of the “allegations” being leveled at the Uttar Pradesh government and said that he will give “an apt” reply after the Rajya Sabha polls. He also asked the MLAs to remain alert from BJP and to not leave Lucknow until the RS elections are held on June 11.
Mulayam was addressing the party leaders and MLAs during a meeting at SP state headquarters in Lucknow to discuss the strategy for the Legislative Council and RS elections, on June 10 and June 11, respectively. SP has fielded seven candidates for RS and eight for the MLC polls.
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According to sources present in the meeting, the SP chief asked the party leaders to not get perturbed over the allegations by BJP leaders and asked all the MLAs “to remain united” to ensure win of the SP candidates.
BJP has accused Mulayam’s younger brother and state PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav of “patronising” the leader of a cult whose members had encroached the sprawling Jawahar Bagh, a government property, in Mathura. Twenty-nine people, including two policemen and cult leader Ram Vriksha Yadav, were killed in violence that broke out on June 2 when police reached Jawahar Bagh to evict the squatters. BJP has also been targeting Mulayam’s son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for “worsening law and order”.
An MLA, present in the meeting, said that Mulayam asked them to not be “defensive” over the allegations leveled by BJP. “We have been asked to maintain contact with public and explain that BJP leaders were telling lies. We have to highlight the development works by Akhilesh Yadav government in the state,” the MLA said.
Akhilesh and Shivpal too were present at the meeting but did not address the MLAs. Senior party leader Ambika Chaudhary and Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey briefed the legislators about the process of voting for the RS and MLC polls.
Mulayam asked the MLAs to not leave Lucknow till the end of Rajya Sabha polls. They have also been asked to have dinner at party state headquarters every night till June 11. The MLAs have been called to party’s legislative office in Vidhan Sabha at 7:30 am on Friday. “There, we might be told about candidates for whom we have to vote as second priority,” said an MLA.
Another MLA said that the meeting was en exercise to maintain contact with all the leaders because party has apprehension of cross-voting due to internal differences or because of possibility of allurement from one BJP supported candidate for Rajya Sabha. A similar meeting will be held on Thursday too.