Samajwadi Party expels six rebel MPs (Lead)July 25th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party has expelled six MPs for defying the party and voting against the trust vote in parliament, general secretary Amar Singh announced Friday while declaring that there had been no discussions on joining the government. The six MPs ousted from the party are Afzal Ansari (Ghazipur), Ateeq Ahmad (Phulpur), S.P. Singh Baghel (Jalesar), Munawwar Hasan (Muzaffarnagar), Rajnarayan Budholiya (Hamirpur) and Jai Prakash Rawat (Mohanlalganj).
The decision, Amar Singh said, had been taken by the party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“A letter in this regard will be sent to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee tomorrow,” Amar Singh told reporters in a freewheeling conversation in which he spoke on inflation, economic reforms, corruption charges and the road ahead with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
Asked if the Samajwadi Party, which supported the ruling UPA in the trust vote, was planning to join the government, Amar Singh said: “There has been no such discussion as yet; I am not a decision-maker in my party.”
Referring to allegations by a rebel Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader that supporters of the party had attacked his home, he said: “Even though they (the six Samajwadi Party MPs) voted against the party’s decision, none of our party’s supporters went to their homes to create a ruckus.”
He hit out at the BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for alleging that the Samajwadi Party had bought MPs: “We can also say that the BJP or the BSP bought MPs but we have never said anything like that.”
The leader denied that he was involved in the ‘cash for vote’ scam — when BJP MPs brandished wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha saying that they had been bribed to vote for the UPA. Later, the MPs named Amar Singh as one of those who approached them.
“If anyone can prove that I have given money, or even talked about giving money, I am ready to leave public life.”
“It is all a conspiracy against me. It could be a work of either the BJP or BSP or both,” he declared.
The Samajwadi Party leader asked the news channel that claimed it had carried out a sting operation to air it for the public.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal’s jailed MP Pappu Yadav, Amar Singh said, had claimed that BJP’s veteran leader V.K. Malhotra had offered him money for voting against the government. “Malhotra should answer those allegations,” he said.
Discussing the issue of economic reforms and the road forward, he said the party had a “positive outlook towards reforms”.
“We will not protest just for the sake of it, but at the same time this doesn’t mean we will not oppose the government on issues… We are concerned about inflation and price rise just like other UPA leaders.”
Amar Singh denied that the party had asked for Petroleum Minister Murli Deora’s resignation in return for their support.
Tags: amar singh, ateeq, bahujan samaj party, bahujan samaj party bsp, corruption charges, currency notes, economic reforms, freewheeling conversation, giving money, hamirpur, Lok Sabha, mulayam singh, muzaffarnagar, party president, progressive alliance, rawat, ruckus, somnath chatterjee, trust vote, wads