The Minister for Agriculture Ashok Bajpai on Thursday strongly defended the Mulayam Singh Yadav government's move to what is being called rolling out of red carpet and declares state guests the 129 Bharatiya Janata Party delegates attending the three-day conclave commencing on Friday.
"The Samajawadi Party believed in high values and 'sanskars' and we believe in welcoming the guests," said Bajpai while talking media persons in Lucknow on Thursday.
Bajpai was asked under what circumstances the SP led government had decided to provide five star facilities to BJP delegates attending conclave.
Besides the ministers the senior officers of the state government too have defended the decision saying all the norms of the protocol have been followed. Only those who deserved the state guest status have been declared state guests, said a senior officer adding those declared state guests include the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Leader of opposition Lal Krishna Advani and chief ministers and ministers of the BJP ruled states.
Those who have attacked Mulayam government to what is being termed red-carpet welcome to BJP leaders include the Congress. The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) Spokesman Dwijendra Tripathi in a statement said the red carpet welcome has exposed tacit understanding between BJP and Samajwadi Party leaders.
Bajpai also used the occasion to launch counter attack on the BJP that has been alleging that law and order situation was at lowest ebb in the state.
"The BJP is holding its conclave in UP because the party leaders feel safe here," said Bajpai.
He attacked the centre for what he called its failure to provide sufficient quantity of fertilisers to Uttar Pradesh. There was a shortage of fertilizers in the state; he said adding that despite the centre's failure to ensure supply the state government however, was able to provide fertilisers to the farmers.
The availability of fertilisers has increased by 22 per cent; he said adding action was taken against 446 persons following complaints of irregularities in supply of fertilisers.