Threatens legal action against media for carrying WikiLeaks reports

Bahujan Samaj Party national general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Satish Chandra Mishra on Tuesday denied that he met U.S. Embassy officials in May 2007 and rejected the comments attributed to him in the WikiLeaks expose published in a local English daily on Tuesday.

Describing the comments “baseless” and “mischievous,” Mr. Mishra said legal action would be taken against the newspaper and the news channels for publishing and telecasting the news item. Mr. Mishra said it was the duty of the media to take the version of the person concerned and warned the media that efforts to create a rift between him and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati would not succeed.

According to a secret U.S. Embassy cable disclosed by WikiLeaks, Mr. Mishra reportedly told the U.S. Embassy officials that Ms. Mayawati had a “penchant for personal corruption,” and a “strong authoritarian streak.” According to the expose, the cable (in which Mr. Mishra made the aforementioned comments) was dated May 29, 2007, 16 days after Ms. Mayawati took over as Chief Minister.

“Committed worker”

Stating that he was associated with the party for several years, Mr. Mishra said he was committed to the policies and programmes as a true party worker.

Meanwhile, the Congress assailed Ms. Mayawati for defending Mr. Mishra and Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh at a press conference addressed by her earlier in the day.

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