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Mayawati pull-out threat recedes

Mayawati shows signs of mellowing down from her recent threats to withdraw support from the Cong-led UPA Govt, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.
By Sutirtho Patranobis | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 19, 2008 02:25 AM IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday showed signs of mellowing down from her recent threats to withdraw support from the Congress-led UPA government.

Emerging from an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she hinted that her party, the BSP, was not going to withdraw the support of 19 MPs, at least for now.

Mayawati had also launched a veiled attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“Earlier, we thought about withdrawing support (from the UPA government). But my party suggested that no decision should be taken before my meeting with the Prime Minister. I attended the meeting on the directive of the party,” Mayawati said.

She said the meeting took place in a “congenial atmosphere” and that issues were discussed with “seriousness”. Mayawati added that the result of her talks with Singh was ``fruitful.’’

Apart from the political agenda, Mayawati had brought with her a list of pre-budget demands.

She sought an early sanction of the Taj International Airport Project, to come up in Greater Noida, a special package of Rs 80,000 crore to develop the backward regions of Bundelkhand and Purvanchal regions and the immediate release of Rs 9,000 crore, which had been promised as central assistance for different schemes run by the state government.

Singh assured Mayawati all steps would be taken for the development of UP. It was learnt that the total resources to be made available to the state in the 11th plan would be Rs 2,80,000 crore, 3.5 per cent more than in the 10th plan.

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