Debating India

UTTAR PRADESH

UP CM, governor lock horns

Friday 24 November 2006

LUCKNOW: For a change, governor TV Rajeswar decided to speak in Hindi to deliver his Police Week message loud and clear. In the front row, cm Mulayam Singh Yadav was all ears. The governor spoke without mincing words. Certain remarks left the CM shifting uneasily. His rebuttal had to wait for some hours. As they met there was a curt shaking of hands and that was about all.

"Not all but some police officers played a partisan role in the civic elections," the governor observed while inaugurating the UP Police Week on Thursday, a function which he was initially reluctant to attend. "I have received 1,000 complaints in this regard," he added.

"He should name the policemen who played partisan roles in the elections. I will order an inquiry," thundered a defiant Mulayam Singh while addressing the media a few hours later. "If he has received 1,000 complaints, he should at least ascertain how many of them are true... my advice is that the ’Rajyapal Mahoday’ should handle the constitutional post with responsibility," Mulayam went on to say.

The governor made accusations of ’criminalisation of politics’, ’dipping law and order situation’ and also ’official security to criminals’. Said Rajeswar,"Western UP has become a kidnapping centre. A report in a Delhi paper had put the earnings of the kidnapping industry at Rs 200 crore. Even if this is an exaggeration, the real figure is not small." The governor named some districts including Etah, Etawah and Mainpuri, known to be the stronghold of the CM, in this regard.

The CM charged that the situation was much worse in Delhi and Mumbai. "Let a high court judge conduct an inquiry and if the situation in UP turns out to be bad, I will not contest the elections," he claimed.

Armed with his homework, the governor said 14 MPs and 81 MLAs, who had two or more criminal cases pending against them, had been given official security cover. Around 270 people have police gunners and 2,500 have police security. These include 10 students as well. "This is not fair," said Rajeswar, alluding to the recent Supreme Court judgement in this regard.

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