Mayawati woos Bangaru

New Delhi, April 17: Accusing former BJP president Bangaru Laxman of “lacking self-esteem” and continuing in the party despite his removal from the top post after the Tehelka exposé, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati on Tuesday said her party could welcome him if he quits BJP.

“If George Fernandes could be assured of honourable reinstatement in the Defence Ministry, why was Laxman not given the same assurance and just asked to quit the post of president,” she said while charging the BJP and the Congress of pursuing policies suited to “upper castes”. Replying to questions, she said Laxman “should have quit the BJP if he had any self-esteem. If he quits, we may welcome him but before that he should protect his own prestige.”

Adding another dimension to opposition’s stand in Parliament on the Tehelka issue, Mayawati said her party would go with the majority on the kind of action to be taken against those found guilty in the Tehelka exposé.

Seeking a debate on the Tehelka in Parliament, she said “We are not toeing the line of the Congress, the BJP or anyone else. As regards the punishment to be meted out to those found guilty, we will go with the majority decision.”

“I am sure if Laxman belonged to the upper caste, BJP and Congress would not have demanded his removal and got into a secret understanding to save him,” Mayawati alleged.

Source:"Deccan Chronicle" (18-04-2001, Wednesday)
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: April 18, 2001
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