The Bahujan Samaj Party is to launch an agitation on the clarification issued by Kalyan Singh, in the form of a government order, instructing officials to stop the misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocites) Act, popuoarly known as the Harijan act.
This was the first thing which Kalayan Singh did after taking oath as the chief minister, drawing immediate and vituperative comments from Mayawati, the former chief minister. Mayawati accused him of behaving like Mulayam Singh and to express her disdain, even called him Kalyan Singh Yadav.
Kalyan Singh did not respond.
But BSP has called a meeting today of party leaders and workers of all districts where an agitation programme will be chalked out. Kanshi Ram is coming to Lucknow to attend the meeting and lead the agitation.
Unlike the BJP which kept its dissent under wraps while Mayawati was the chief minister, the BSP will struggle against policies that are against the BSP philosophy all the while maintaining a facade of unity.
Mayawati made it clear that the agitation will not mean a break in the alliance with the BJP. Perhaps, because, there is Mulayam Singh right behind to take advatage of the position. Therefore, she says, the colaition will continue. But, the BSP will make its position known on each and every issue.
This stand was carried out at the first Cabinet meeting which was convened yesterday and was described as an introductory meeting. The BSP ministers in unison demanded that Kalayan Singh issue a government order on every Act asking the officials to stop its misuse.
Further, Buniyad Hussain Ansari, a BSP minister has declared that he will be going to Ayodhya to offer Namaaz. Although he has not yet set a time for the prayers, this is the second time he has reiterated it. He had earlier strongly objected to Kalyan Singh stating that the BJP stands by its committment to build a Ram mandir in Ayodhya. The Muslims in the BSP are showing their restiveness, at least for public consumption.
Although this situation has been prevailing for a long time, it is only now that they have decided to air their views on the BJP stand.
BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee, who is in town, said Kalayan Singhs government order should have been better worded and Singh should have studied the cases more carefully. However, he did not say that he would ask for its withdrawl.
Meanwhile the BSP suffered a slight setback when its minister, Hari Kishan Srivastava resigned from the Cabinet. and new one Mr Umesh Cchandra, former dy advocategeneral . has filled his place. He is neither an MLA nor an MLC. Mayawati justified his induction as necessary becasue the party needs somebody who has legal knowledge to combat the pres4ent situation.
Mr Hari Kishan Srivastava told Business Standard that earlier when Mayawati was the chief minister, he was ranked number four among the BSP ministers, and he was given only a lowly portfolio of women welfare and child welfare.
In the new set up , underKalyan Singh he has been made minister of Youth, culture, which is far lower and now has been made number 9 among the BSP ministers. He had decided that he has put up with enough insults and will relinguish office. He went to meet Mayawati yesterday andtold her about her intentions and that he will submit his resignation today morning. While other ministers who were present there asked him to continue and told him that they are prepared to part with their portfolios. But when he toldMayawati that he is not going to attend the tomorrow cabinet meeting, then she told him, according to Srivastava, to, resign today itself. Srivastava promptly submitted his resignation and was replaced by Umesh Chandra. Srivastava when asked by newsmen said that others were! Kamuoon Poot! for her and he was not. Meaning thereby that others used to garner money for her while the he did not do that. He also said that there have been many before Kanshi Ram and Mayawati who have done considerable work for the dalit cause. It is unfortunate that Kanshi Ram has been in Uttar pradesh for purrsue this cause. He said that she did not ask him for money and he never gathered it for her.
Srivastava has experienced many parties and was speaker of the Vidhan Sabha during the first chief ministership of Mualayam Singh Yadav. He has been an MLA from theBJP on whose ticket he won in 93 and was elected on the BSP ticket in 96. In 91 he had lost to the BJP from his traditional constituency of Chaubepur, in Kanpur Dehat.eom.