Faced with the prospect of the remaining monsoon session getting wiped out over the Gujarat Lokayukta controversy, the UPA is examining all options - including use of official and party channels - to request state Governor Kamla Beniwal to withdraw the notification on appointment of Justice (Retd) RA Mehta.
The BJP is upset as Beniwal appointed Justice Mehta as Lokayukta without consulting the state government.
Government sources said the UPA is in consultation with the BJP, including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, to resolve the issue before Parliament assembles on Monday.
"We are in touch with the BJP and are trying to amicably resolve the issue ...one of the options before the Governor is to withdraw the notification appointing Justice Mehta as the Lokayukta of Gujarat," said a senior Cabinet minister.
However, this option is easier said than done as Beniwal appears in no mood to withdraw the notification. The Gujarat Congress leadership too is backing the Governor.
The UPA itself is a divided house as some ministers believe there is no need to accede to the BJP's demand, and are in favour of the legislative business being passed amid Opposition din in both Houses of Parliament. This, according to sources, will leave the government with no option but to suggest to President Pratibha Patil to either cancel Justice Mehta's appointment or recall Beniwal.
While the government had put on a brave face in Parliament and defended Beniwal on the basis of clauses in the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, neither the UPA nor the Congress was consulted on the notification, the minister said.
He indicated that the Governor's decision was pushed by the state party leadership. "These problems will be sorted out once party president Sonia Gandhi is back at the helm of affairs next week," he said.