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Ajit tried to fight Mulayam Govt from within before quiting

His criticism of the government was getting shriller by the day over the past three months, reports Chandrakant Naidu .

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 01:38 IST

For Ajit Singh the question was not why ----it was when.

His criticism of the government was getting shriller by the day over the past three months. But unlike the Congress that stayed out of the government to keep its powder dry Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal chose to fight the government from within.

While pulling out his ministers Ajit Singh has taken care not to call this as withdrawal of support to the government. Political observers attribute this to the fact that RLD's withdrawal may not reduce the government to a minority.

Ajit Singh was also candid enough to admit that during Tuesday's news conference. The possibility of the governor asking Mulayam Singh to prove his majority on the floor of the House appears remote, as numbers don't favour the move. Even discounting the 15 RLD members the Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party has the numbers with it to scrape through a trial of strength. But Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Das has demanded that Governor TV Rajeswar should ask Mulayam Singh to prove his majority.

The UP Assembly held just 15 sittings during 112 days of the last session. This was done to ensure a trial of strength on the floor in the event of RLD withdrawing support. By seeking a vote on account for the first four months of the next fiscal Mulayam Singh claimed to have earned a vote of trust on the last day of the session on December 12.

Ajit Singh's tactic and timing is expected to help his party partly retrieve the ground lost through incumbency and alleged involvement of RLD members in Dr Kavita Chaoudhary murder case that has been referred to CBI inquiry. He had demanded a CBI probe into the Nithari case apparently to corner the government on law and order issue. Mulayam Singh's riposte was an inquiry into both the Nithari and Kavita murder case.

While preparing to break the alliance Ajit Singh has been campaigning in western UP, his stronghold, to steer clear of the negative publicity the state government incurred over crumbling law and order and growing corruption. He also listed low support price for sugarcane as a reason for RLD's pull out. State BJP president Kesari Nath Tripathi was quick to ask why was the sugarcane price, announced a month ago, being questioned now.

Where is Ajit Singh heading? He has been negotiating with the Congress an alliance that helps him expand his base beyond western UP. Alliance with the Samajwadi Party did not help much. The Congress appears to be the suitable alternative.

Ajit Singh has also supported the demand for President's rule by suggesting that free and fair elections would not be possible under the present dispensation.

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First Published: Jan 10, 2007 01:38 IST