OTHER STATES

Mulayam repeats "return to U.P." call in Uttarakhand

C. K. Chandramohan

HARDWAR: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has reiterated his "Laut Chalo Uttar Pradesh" ("Return to Uttar Pradesh") call at election meetings here with many asking why he had not initiated steps in that direction after they elected his nominee as the Lok Sabha member from here in the last general elections.

Mr. Yadav's Samajwadi Party had managed to grab the Hardwar parliamentary seat on the basis of this slogan last time despite drawing a blank in the Assembly elections. The party is hated in the hills and enjoys some support in the Terai regions of what is now Uttarakhand.

Although the people might vote for his candidates in the upcoming Uttarakhand Assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party seems to be in the fight only in the Hardwar and Bhagwanpur Assembly segments. The major players in all other constituencies in the district seem to be the Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

The Congress, which is yet to open an account here, seems riddled by a large number of rebels contesting on tickets of other parties. The disgruntled elements are either staying away from canvassing or silently lending support to BSP or BJP nominees in a bid to ensure defeat of official nominees.

Mr. Yadav's poorly attended meetings in Doiwala and Sahaspur areas of Dehra Dun have evoked strong protests from the Uttarakhand Kaushalya Dabral Sangharsh Vahini president Sushila Dhyani who wanted a ban on the entry of Mr. Yadav as he is considered responsible for the atrocities, including rape and murder, on several unarmed protesters during the separate hill State movement and trying to create a hill-plain divide in the State.

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