Across spectrum, demand for Mayawati government’s dismissal (Lead)

July 16th, 2009 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh came under fire from all major political parties Thursday after the arrest of state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and the attack on her house by alleged Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers at night.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party have demanded the dismissal of the Mayawati-led BSP government in the state.

The Congress has described the episode as “jungle raj” and “state-sponsored terrorism”. It has also alleged that the incidents happened at the behest of Chief Minister Mayawati.

On Wednesday, shouting anti-Joshi and pro-Mayawati slogans, alleged BSP workers stormed the former’s house in Lucknow and set it afire. Around the same time, Joshi was arrested in Ghaziabad en route to New Delhi.

She was charged under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Mayawati. She was Thursday remanded in judicial custody in Moradabad.

The incidents have been denounced by political parties across the spectrum.

Maneka Gandhi, a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, said here: “The time has come for the Uttar Pradesh government to be dismissed. In every single constituency, people have been sent to jail for absolutely nothing.

“What did Rita Bahuguna Joshi say? She didn’t say much and after that she even apologised. Why can’t she speak her mind? What kind of democracy is this? President’s Rule should be imposed in the state.”

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told IANS: “We don’t justify what Rita Bahuguna Joshi had said and whatever was done by the BSP workers after that. It’s a political move to woo Dalit votes.”

Speaking to the media at the main entrance of parliament house, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav - son of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav - demanded the dismissal of the Uttar Pradesh government.

“Law and order has gone for a toss in the state. In Uttar Pradesh, it is not the police but BSP leaders who decide (what) sections (are) to be imposed on a criminal,” he said.

His colleague and Rajya Sabha member Kamal Akhtar told IANS: “The administration in the state has collapsed. There is a virtual dictatorship of Mayawati. We demand that this government be dismissed.”

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said: “I condemn the remarks of Rita Bahuguna Joshi against Mayawati but I don’t approve the vandalism at her house. This cannot be accepted in a democracy.”

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “She (Mayawati) has completely lost it. It is no short of ‘jungle raj’. It is state-sponsored vandalism, state-sponsored crime.”

Condemning the attack on Joshi’s house, Congress leader Digvijay Singh said: “All this happened at the behest of the chief minister. We are aware of the fact that when this was happening all the top officials of state government were sitting with the chief minister and the culprits have been named in the FIR.

“The main culprit is a BSP legislator, Babloo Tiwari, who spearheaded the attack. Police were told that the incident would happen and the media was (told) to reach Rita Bahuguna’s house and all this has happened under the sponsorship of the state government. The Congress party will fight it at whatever level we can,” said Singh.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “Her house is torched down, cars are burnt. This is state-sponsored vandalism, state-sponsored hooliganism and we certainly intend to take a strong view of it. We will take all legal records available to us.”

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