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Assembly poll may be rigged: Das

india Updated: Feb 04, 2007 10:33 IST
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Union Minister of State for Steel Akhilesh Das said on Saturday the people of the State would teach the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government a lesson in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections.

Talking to mediapersons at a Meet- the-Press programme at the UP Press Club in Lucknow, Das said the Centre would not like to dismiss any democratically elected government. "We are aware that attempts will be made to rig the Vidhan Sabha poll," he said, adding that large-scale irregularities had been reported in the urban local bodies and panchayat elections. The Centre was, however, ready to take all steps possible within the framework of the Constitution, he said.

Das rebutted Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's charges that the Centre was infringing upon the federal structure of the country. "Should the Centre remain a mute spectator?" asked Das, adding there was no justification behind not allowing Union Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal to visit the curfew-bound areas of Gorakhpur. The people would themselves give an appropriate reply to the Mulayam government in the Vidhan Sabha poll, he said.

Das made light of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh's observations that former foreign affairs minister Natwar Singh would share the Samajwadi Party's platform. Singh was in the habit of making such announcements and he would react only when this happened, said Das.

Replying to a question, Das said Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had already declared that he would campaign for the party candidates in the Vidhan Sabha poll. Rahul was already active in Uttar Pradesh.

He was taking lot of interest not only in his own Amethi Lok Sabha constituency but also in Rae Bareli and other areas of the State. Das said he was ready to contest the coming Vidhan Sabha election from any seat if asked to do so.

Das, who reviewed the performance of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in State, said the total turnover of SAIL was Rs 3,600 crore in Lucknow. SAIL had appointed 88 dealers in UP for supplying branded products, he said. Efforts were on to set up a new steel plant in UP. SAIL had also bid for taking over Malvika Steels situated in Sultanpur.

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