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UP imbroglio
Sonia calls CWC meeting today
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
Having raised the pitch on the dismissal of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government and faced with strong objections from its allies, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of the party's working committee tomorrow for an internal brainstorming on the Uttar Pradesh imbroglio.

The party's in-house legal experts have made a strong pitch for the imposition of President's rule in Uttar Pradesh on the grounds that the recent Supreme Court order on the defected BSP legislators has made it clear that the SP-led government has no "moral, legal or constitutional" right to continue in office.

In his report to the Centre, UP Governor T.V.Rajeswar is also learnt to have stated that the formation of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government was unconstitutional and fears there will be further horse-trading if the Chief Minister goes ahead with the proposed trial of strength in the Assembly on February 26.

Despite its public offensive and the Governor's report, the Congress is unable to take a final view on the imposition of President's rule, as it has to contend with strong opposition from its allies as also the doubts expressed by its own senior leaders. It is to enable the Congress to reach a final decision that it has convened a meeting of its highest decision-making body tomorrow.

There is a section in the Congress which favours a cautious approach as it feels that any ill-thought decision could boomerang on the party as happened in the case of Bihar. They are also not sure if President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam will be willing to go along with this move.

They have also argued that instead of dismissing the Mulayam Singh government, which could even generate sympathy for him, the Congress should use this issue to discredit the SP leader. Besides, they said, it would be difficult for the Congress to explain its support for what is now being billed as an unconstitutional government.

While it is important that the Congress first forges a consensus within its own ranks, it is equally true that it will not go ahead and impose Central rule in UP if its allies are not agreeable to it. And so far, it appears that the UPA partners are not convinced with this proposal.

CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat has warned the government against the imposition of President's rule and has even called for a constitutional amendment against the misuse of Article 356. The DMK and the NCP are also not in favour of dismissing the Mulayam government.

But those in the Congress like Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal and UPPCC chief Salman Khursheed, who want the UP Government to be dismissed, have argued that the Centre will be overlooking the Supreme Court order if it gives legitimacy to the Mulayam government by allowing it to go ahead with the February 26 floor test.

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