NATIONAL

BJP parliamentary board leaves it to Governor

NEW DELHI. AUG. 26. The Parliamentary Board of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which met here today to discuss the political crisis in Uttar Pradesh, has decided to wait and see what the Governor recommends.

The signal from the party is that it will not take any initiative to form an alternative government and it was "prepared for any situation".

The party's priorities continue to be (not necessarily in that order): Mayawati should not continue as Chief Minister, there should be no dissolution of the State Assembly, a Government led by the Samajwadi Party must be avoided, and, preferably, President's rule should be imposed with the Assembly in suspended animation.

The report from Lucknow that Ms. Mayawati resigned as Chief Minister came as a relief to the BJP — the first problem had been solved — but that was after the hour-long meeting of the Board held at the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee's residence was over. Besides Mr. Vajpayee, among those present were the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, the party president, Venkaiah Naidu (who chaired the meeting) and some BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mr. Naidu said that "despite past experience" — a reference to the previous two BJP-BSP coalition Governments in the State — the BJP had "tried its best" to run the coalition smoothly.

He rejected Ms. Mayawati's charges that many BJP leaders in the State were working against the interests of the State Government.

He said his party would "not take any initiative to form an alternative government" and that it was "prepared for any situation".

On the imposition of President's rule, Mr. Naidu was non-committal, saying that the Governor's view was crucial.

The party said that it felt let down by the Bahujan Samaj Party and that Ms. Mayawati should have consulted the BJP before rushing to the Governor to recommend dissolution of the Assembly.

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