'Democracy has won'

Print edition : November 01, 1997

Chief Minister Kalyan Singh spoke to Venkitesh Ramakrishnan in New Delhi immediately after the United Front Government reconsidered its recommendation to dismiss his Government. Excerpts from the interview:

Democracy has won. And so has the politics of justice, which seeks to usher in an era of governance without corruption, unfair politicking and narrow vested interests. The BSP leadership was afraid of my initiatives against corruption and withdrew support to the Government. The U.F. Government, motivated by the urge to prevent the rise of the BJP, tried to dismiss my Government by creating violence in the Assembly and preventing us from proving the Government's majority. Both have failed.

There are allegations that you indulged in horse-trading and engineered defections.

We have not engineered defections. All those who came to us have come with affection. These are politicians who are fed up with the climate of political instability in Uttar Pradesh and have joined hands with the BJP to provide a stable government. We have not offered these groups and their MLAs any enticements.

BJP leaders on a dharna outside Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 22.-SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

Did you offer MLAs of the breakaway Congress group ministerial posts?

They have joined hands with the BJP with full responsibility, to tackle the problems of the State and to contribute their share in mitigating them. And they will address this responsibility as Ministers too. What is wrong in that?

But these MLAs have no ideological ties with the BJP. Is not the offer of ministerial posts intended to entice them to defect?

They have made it clear that they are aligning themselves with the BJP to provide a stable government. They know that that is important for the development of the State. That is the ideological affinity between us.

What about issues such as the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya?

That is not on the agenda of the State Government. I have made it clear that the construction can be completed only when the BJP comes to power at the Centre.

Many people in your party say in private that the BJP has lost the support of Dalits because of the break with the BSP.

I was confident right from the beginning that the BJP has the goodwill to attract people from other parties who are interested in the welfare of the State. Some of our leaders might have had different opinions on this. But all that is over now. As for arguments about losing the Dalit vote, I only wish to say that the people of U.P. are fed up with caste politics. The BJP's people-oriented policies will bring all castes and communities to our side.

You have ordered inquiries into corruption charges against Mayawati. Some BJP Ministers are also under a cloud on account of certain deals and projects. Will you take the same steps against BJP Ministers?

My Government will not tolerate corruption from any quarter. If there are genuine complaints, they will be looked into and action will be taken without consideration for the politics, status, caste or community of the accused.

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