March 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Governor recommends Central rule in UP
Lucknow, March 6
“As political instability continues and no party is willing to form the government, I recommend the President’s rule in the state and keeping the Assembly in the suspended animation,’’ Mr Shastri said in his letter to President K R Narayanan.
According to Raj Bhavan sources, Mr Shastri took the decision after consulting each and every political party, including the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
While the SP, which had emerged as the largest party after the three-phase elections to the state Assembly last month, staked claim to form the government on February 27, the BJP and BSP preferred to sit in opposition in the state Assembly.
The SP had demanded that the Governor call the largest party to form the government since the majority could be decided only on the floor of the house. Mr Shastri, however, insisted on a list of MLAs supporting the SP.
BSP Vice-President Mayawati had not met the Governor in person but conveyed her party’s decision against any post-poll tie-up to the governor in writing.
The SP has 143 MLAs in the 403-member Assembly but its strength was reduced to 142 after its legislator Manzoor Ahmed was shot dead in front of the Raj Bhavan this morning.
The BSP and the BJP have 98 and 88 MLAs, respectively.
The Governor had earlier set March 6 as the deadline for Congress to convey to him its stand on government formation as no party secured majority on its own in the 403-member Assembly.
The Congress, which has 25 MLAs, had sought time till today to apprise the Governor of its viewpoint but did not meet him.
Earlier in the day, Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tewari indicated to reporters in Aligarh that his party might support the SP, which emerged as the single largest group with 145 members to form government.
The Congress, he said, would not adopt a “negative posture” in case the SP takes the initiative to form a secular government. “Let them take the first step and we will not be found failing in case all secular parties are mentally prepared to provide a government in UP”.
Interestingly, UP BJP President Kalraj Mishra said his party favoured President’s rule in the state and that “none should have any objection to this.”
Chief Minister Rajnath Singh had resigned on February 24, but was asked to remain in the office till further arrangements were made.
The President’s rule was also imposed in UP after the last assembly elections in 1996. It was withdrawn after the BJP and the BSP reached an agreement to form the alliance government. UNI
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