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In UP, his ally Ajit keeps everybody guessing

Tuesday 5 December 2006, by GOPINATH*Vrinda

New Delhi, December 4: As the demand for the dismissal of the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government in Uttar Pradesh gets shriller with the BJP joining in along with the BSP, the two parties that extend support to the beleaguered Government - the RLD led by Ajit Singh and the Congress - have remained silent so far. If the Congress and the RLD pull out, Mulayam’s Government will be reduced to a minority in the 403-seat Assembly.

In the run-up to the state polls, to be held within four months, Singh has kept an enigmatic silence, allowing speculation to fly about his future plans - whether he will have a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in return for a portfolio in the Union Cabinet or stick to Mulayam.

Singh kept his political colleagues guessing when he told The Indian Express today, “I have all along been saying that I will have to consult my party before taking any decision on pre-poll alliance. It has taken longer than I expected because of the civic polls that were held in October.’’

Singh waved away allegations that his party was divided over withdrawing support to Mulayam. According to media reports, a powerful section in the party, led by his confidante Anuradha Chowdhury, is tilted in favour of the SP. “There are differing views in every party, it’s nothing new. But if there is any talk of differences in the party, it is with my approval. There’s no problem,’’ Singh said.

However, he dismissed the idea of bringing in President’s rule in the state saying that it could not happen just because political parties were clamouring for it. “There are certain constitutional norms to be followed before dismissing a Government, one has to see whether the situation in UP requires it. So, my view on wanting President’s rule does not matter,’’ he said.

The RLD has 16 MLAs, with four ministers in the state Cabinet.

On the other hand, the state Congress continues to carry out its street agitations and jail bharo andolans against the Government, highlighting its dismal law and order situation and the breakdown of the administration.

Says Salman Khursheed, UPCC president, “As far as we in the state are concerned, we do not support the Mulayam Government. We continue with our street demonstrations and protests against the maladministration of this Government, despite being lathicharged and attacked by the state machinery.’’

Khursheed says though the party leadership in Delhi commands and supports the protests, the state unit can only send inputs and information on state affairs, it cannot advise the latter on how to act. “To have an opinion on the question of withdrawing support to the UP Government is not our job,’’ says Khursheed adding that “the state unit is just an arm, the party leadership is the brain.’’

The Governor is the President’s representative in the state. And he has certainly taken a non-favourable view of the state Government and the chief minister all along,’’ says Singh.

The President, the Governor, the Centre and the Election Commission have to take a view if there has to be a free and fair poll in the state,’’ adds Khursheed.

See online : The Indian Express

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