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Home > News > Report

UP Governor seeks President's rule?

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | February 17, 2007 14:08 IST
Last Updated: February 17, 2007 16:09 IST

Uttar Pradesh Raj Bhawan may be tight-lipped on the issue, but highly-placed sources in Lucknow confirmed on Saturday that state Governor T V Rajeshwar has formally recommended imposition of President's rule in the state.

Rajeshwar is believed to have made the recommendation in the report, which he sent across to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Saturday morning.

The report follows the Supreme Court's verdict, disqualifying 13 Bahujan Samaj Party defectors and raising a question mark of 24 other defectors, with whose support Mulayam Singh Yadav cobbled up his majority to win a confidence vote shortly after forming his government in August 2003.

It is said that the Governor prepared his report in the wake of echoing demand by Opposition leaders, who in one voice sought dismissal of the 41-month-old Mulayam government.

What was understood to have eventually convinced Rajeshwar was BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Misra's argument that since the apex court had disqualified the 13 defectors with retrospect from August 28, 2003, the very constitution of the government was illegal on day one.

A highly placed source said, "Misra had a long meeting with Rajeshwar on Friday; prior to that UP Congress chief Salman Khurshid too remained closeted with him for nearly an hour."

A constitutional lawyer and former state advocate general in the Mayawati government, Misra was stated to have armed Rajeshwar with sufficient legal material to prepare the ground for recommending President's rule in the state, said the source.

The Governor was also stated to have had a long telephonic discussion with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, before he sent his report to the Centre.

PTI adds:

The Governor is understood to have expressed apprehensions of horse-trading in case of a trial of strength in the state assembly following the disqualification of 13 Bahujan Samajwadi Party legislators by the Supreme Court.

Though there is no official word about the report, sources said the Governor has apprehended that pressure could be exerted 'on the legislators to cross floor' if a trial of strength takes place in the Vidhan Sabha on February 26 next.

Rajeswar is believed to have spoken to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on telephone on Friday night to apprise him of the developments in the state. The assembly is currently in session and its next sitting is on February 26.

The Governor, in the report, has also referred to the BSP's contention that all the 37 breakway legislators stood disqualified according to the apex court judgment. The Governor has also received the opinions of the legal experts on the matter.

Sources said the vote of confidence obtained by the Mulayam Government soon after its formation in August 2003 was also unconstitutional.

Significantly, the Raj Bhavan is yet to accord its nod to the resignations of six of the ten disqualified legislators, who enjoyed the status of ministers and whose resignations were handed over to him by Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday last.

Yadav has said that he will prove his majority on the floor of the house on February 26.

In a house of 403, with two vacancies, Mulayam government had the support of 210 legislators comprising 152 of Samajwadi Party, 33 of Loktantrik Bahujan Dal, two of Loktantrik Congress Party, six unattached members, one CPI(M) member and 16 Independents.

However, eight members of the BJP, two of the RLD and three of the BSP had voted in support of the government on January 25 last during the voting on the motion of thanks to the Governor's address taking the tally of the Yadav government to 223.

Now after the disqualification of 13 breakaway BSP members and with seven members sans voting rights as per the court order, the effective strength of the house had been reduced to 388 and the government would now require support of 192 members for a simple majority.

The government is now left with 152 members of SP, 20 of the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal, two of Loktantrik Congress Party, six unattached members, one of CPI(M) and 16 Independents taking its tally to 197, which is well above the half way mark.

The government, however, could come into a minority if the 20 legislators of the LBD were also disqualified, going by the contention of the BSP. In that case the strength of the ruling combine would be reduced to 177 while that of the house to 362, while a simple majority would require 182.