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UP Assembly meets after polls; opp absent
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | May 09, 2007 17:23 IST
Wednesday would go down in India's legislative history as the rarest of the rare occasions when a state Assembly met even after the conclusion of elections for the constitution of a new Assembly.
It was barely four days before the expiry of the term of the existing Uttar opradesh assembly that the ruling Samajwadi Party chose to hold a session of the House -- and that too sans the opposition -- entirely on its own.
While both the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party members had already tendered their resignations to their respective party leaders, the BJP also chose to boycott the meet.
In the absence of the entire opposition, there was just a single point agenda -- to grant minority status to Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, a dream project of Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan.
Opposition leaders saw the move also as yet another bid by Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to impress Muslim minorities.
The House promptly took up the amendment bill and passed it in minutes following which the assembly was adjourned sine die.
"It was only way back in 1957 that the UP house witnessed a similar meet exactly three days before expiry of term of the second Assembly," Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey told reporters. "The Assembly met on March 27, 1957 when results of the fresh election had already been announced and the new assembly was waiting to be constituted on April 1," he said.
According to Assembly records the meet was convened to serve an all-important purpose of seeking a vote of account on an interim budget for the state.
The bill for setting up of this university was passed by the state way back assembly on May 18, 2005 following which it was sent to the Governor for his Constitutional assent.
However UP Governor T V Rajeshwar raised certain queries and clarifications on the bill that was returned to the government at least twice.
Khan eventually initiated a fresh move to set up the university in the private sector, for which he had finally got the governor's nod.
Envisaged as a 297-acre campus on the outskirts of Khan's hometown Rampur, the university would have separate colleges for engineering, medicine, dentistry, law, home science and vocational training, besides other degree courses.
"Our main emphasis will be on providing quality education that would match international standards," said Khan, who claimed to have offered the seed capital from his personal resources.
Earlier, he said, "Our objective behind setting up of this university is to promote literacy and remove economic backwardness among Muslim minorities by providing them an opportunity to imbibe modern education along with classical education."
He said, "The university would also promote Islamic learning besides moral and physical education."
Wednesday's exercise was also aimed at preempting any move by a new government to alter these provisions. "Now even if any government wants to scrap the university or make any alterations in its rules and regulations, it would require a three-fourth majority in both Houses of the state legislature to do so," declared a visibly elated Khan at the end of the show.