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Congress withdraws support to Mulayam govt

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
Last updated on: January 17, 2007 21:06 IST
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The Congress party has decided to withdraw support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh.

An announcement to this effect was made by UP Congress chief Salman Khurshid in Lucknow Wednesday evening. This comes close on the heels of parting of ways by another ally the Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Ajit Singh.

Khurshid said the Congress had extended outside support to the Samajwadi Party-led government in order to keep the 'communal forces' at bay.

However, 'it appears that the state government has joined hands with the communal forces leaving us with no choice but to withdraw our support', he said.

He alleged that the state government deliberately delayed investigation into Nithari serial killings of children and women. "The law and order situation in the state has turned for the worse and there is no rule of law worth the name in the state," he said.

However, the withdrawal of support would not make any difference to the state government. The Congress has only 15 members in the UP state assembly out of 403, while RLD has 15.

Since the sitting strength of MLAs is 392, Mulayam requires 197 members for a majority. According to a spokesman of the state assembly, the chief minister enjoyed the support of 209 members and was therefore in a comfortable position even after the departure of both RLD and the Congress

Meanwhile, Mulayam already convened a special session of the house from Thursday . He also proposes to seek a vote of confidence later this month.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow