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Mulayam Singh meets Mayawati

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Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati during a meeting in Lucknow on Friday.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati during a meeting in Lucknow on Friday.

Atiq Khan

The hour-long closed door meeting comes after a gap of 13 years

LUCKNOW: Exactly 13 years and three days after the State Guest House incident of June 2, 1995 that led to the formation of the first Bahujan Samaj Party government in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh on Friday met Chief Minister Mayawati.

The two had all these days even refused to acknowledge each other’s political clout and spared no opportunity to run down the other.

The hour-long closed door meeting at the Chief Minister’s 5, Kalidas Marg official residence was in connection with the nomination of the chairman and members of the U.P. State Human Rights Commission (UPSHRC).

Mr. Singh is a member of the selection committee in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha. The other members are the Chief Minister, the Home Minister (Ms. Mayawati in both the cases), Speaker Sukhdev Rajbhar, Chairman of the Vidhan Parishad Sukhram Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Parishad Ahmed Hasan. All were present at the meeting.

Mr. Singh, who drove into the Chief Minister’s residence at around 10 a.m. for the “all important” meeting, remained incommunicado throughout the day in spite of his presence at a meeting of the Kushwaha Backward Class at the SP office.

There was no word from the BSP president either.

The Congress, which earlier tried to woo Ms. Mayawati when she assumed office in May 2007, now faces stiff opposition from the Chief Minister. On Thursday, she threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if the fuel price hikes are not withdrawn.

On the flipside, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress were reportedly getting cozy, though it has been only SP general secretary Amar Singh, who had indirectly admitted to the reported thawing of SP-Congress relations. Mr. Mulayam Singh has remained silent on the issue.

Together in 1993

The BSP and SP are no strange political bedfellows. Both contested the 1993 Assembly elections and Mr. Mulayam Singh went on to head a coalition government.

The relations between him and BSP founder and Ms. Mayawati’s mentor Kanshi Ram soured with the June 2, 1995 State Guest House incident proving to be the flashpoint in the troubled alliance.

Representing the Dalits, Brahmins, OBCs and the Muslims, the support base of the BSP and SP comprises 65 per cent of the State’s electorate.

State unit president of the SP and Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav refused to comment on the outcome of the meeting. Mr. Singh attended a Human Rights Commission meeting at the Chief Minister’s official residence, he said at a news conference.

Retired Supreme Court judge H.K. Sema was named Chairman of the SHRC. Retired Allahabad High Court judge Vishnu Sahai and human rights activist Asha Tewari were nominated as members.

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