U.P. Legislative Council passes censure motion against alleged phone tapping incident

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council today passed a censure motion against alleged phone tapping of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh, terming it as infringement on right to privacy.

Raising the matter in the Zero Hour, Yagya Dutt Sharma of BJP termed phone tapping a conspiracy to create hurdles in the democratic process. ''Ironically it is a conspiracy between the two political parties extending support to each other at the Centre and State,'' Sharma said.

Giving a detailed account of the phone tapping, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav termed it as a conspiracy to topple his government.

Now efforts were underway to hide the facts, he said, adding that ''the phone tapping is not being done at the behest of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister or the Police Commissioner and they were not even aware of it.''

''Phone tapping has been ordered from the highest level,'' he said without taking names.

Making a revelation, Yadav said that he was not interested in forming the government and had wanted fresh elections but had done so in keeping with the wishes of a senior leader who has now joined BJP.

After the Chief Minister's statement, Om Prakash Sharma of the teachers group moved a censure notice saying that phone tapping in democracy was an infringement on the right to privacy and needed to be condemned. The motion was passed by a voice vote.

BJP walkout in House over leader's killing

Main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party members today staged a noisy walkout in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, demanding a CBI probe into the killing of a senior party leader in Jyotiba Phule Nagar district last month.

Alleging that a Minister of State in the Mulayam Singh Yadav government alongwith his brother was directly involved in the murder of Jagmohan Kharakbanshi on December 11, BJP member Hukum Singh claimed that the government was protecting the minister concerned against whom a named FIR had been registered.

He said as Kharakbanshi was not bowing to the pressure by the ruling party minister in the coming Zila Panchayat chairman election, he was eliminated.

Replying to the issue raised through an adjournment motion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan said the government was committed to punishing the people involved in the killing.

However, Mr Khan defended his ministerial colleague, stating that his name had been put in the FIR due to political rivalry. But the BJP members demanded that either a CBI probe in the matter be instituted or the minister concerned be sacked.

On the government refusal on this count, the BJP members staged a noisy walkout raising anti-government slogans. - PTI & UNI