M A I N   N E W S

Cong, Lalu want UP Govt sacked
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 17
The Congress today came upfront to make a strong case for the dismissal of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government even as its senior leaders made desperate attempts to convince their allies on the urgency of imposing Central rule in Uttar Pradesh.

UP Governor T.V. Rajeshwar is learnt to have sent his report to the Centre recommending the dismissal of the state government. The Centre is expected to take a final view on it before the Budget session of Parliament commences on February 23.

Shedding its initial coyness, the Congress today fielded all its top legal experts to state categorically that the Supreme Court judgement on the defected BSP legislators had clearly suggested that the formation of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government three years ago was unconstitutional and that it had “no moral, legal or constitutional right” to continue in office.

Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi and UPPCC president Salman Khursheed, the Congress party’s legal eagles, all spoke to the media separately to explain the Supreme Court order. Quoting expensively from the judgement, all three pointed out that besides disqualifying 13 BSP legislators, who defected to the Samajwadi Party, the order also maintained that the remaining 24 MLAs did not constitute one-third of the party’s total strength, a prerequisite for a split to be recognised.

Reiterating that the very basis of the formation of the Samajwadi Party-led government was illegal, Mr Sibal urged other political parties (read UPA allies) to read this judgement and ask Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav to step down. Mr Khursheed wanted the Centre to act before Mr Yadav’s trial of strength on February 26 as it would only be giving him time to indulge in further horse-trading.

While launching a full-scale offensive against the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, the Congress trio was not sure if the UPA government would be able to accept their demand as it would first have to forge a consensus within the ruling coalition. “We are running a coalition government and we have to consult our allies before taking any decision,” Mr Sibal remarked while Mr Khursheed admitted that “finally, the UPA comes first, not UP”.

It is evident that though the Congress is clear that it does not want the next Assembly elections to be conducted with Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Chief Minister, it is in a fix over objections from its communist allies. Reiterating his objections to the imposition of Central rule, the CPM general secretary remained steadfast that a government’s strength must be tested on the floor of the House. The CPM’s proximity to the Samajwadi Party is well-known as it looks upon Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav as an ally in case a third front formation emerges in the future.

Similarly, Mr Sharad Pawar’s NCP and the DMK are also not convinced of the Congress’s line of argument.



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