Atiq Khan

"Congress, BJP raising bogey"

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday dismissed allegations of misuse of official machinery and rigging by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the civic elections. The results of the polls would be announced on Monday.

At a press conference here, Mr. Yadav criticised the Congress for `misusing' the office of the Governor to create a false impression and said it had found a willing ally in the Bharatiya Janata Party, which too had raised the `bogey' of poll irregularities.

Both parties had demanded the dismissal of the State Government and imposition of President's rule in the light of the widespread violence and alleged booth capturing and rigging by the Samajwadi Party in the local elections.

Mr. Yadav accused both parties of ignoring issues such as illiteracy, drinking water supply, decline in foodgrains production and threat to internal security.

While his Government and his party were worried about the welfare of farmers and the common man, the Congress and the BJP were more interested in seeking his ouster.

Impartial elections

He lauded the State Election Commission for conducting free and fair elections. Impartial elections were held in the State for the first time, he claimed.

The Opposition parties were worried at the prospect of urban voters supporting the Samajwadi Party, he said.

Mr. Yadav denied differences with alliance partner Ajit Singh, saying they were a "media creation."

He also played down the reported understanding between Jan Morcha convener V.P. Singh and CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat.

`False propaganda'

Dismissing reports of starvation deaths and suicides in the Bundelkhand region, he alleged that the `false propaganda' was the outcome of vote-bank politics of parties that had no ideology, programme or policies. His Government was working for the welfare of the public, he added.