CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav today called on Governor TV Rajeswar and held a closed-door meeting with him for over half an hour at the Raj Bhawan.
Though there was no official confirmation to what the chief minister exactly told the governor, sources in the Raj Bhawan said Yadav urged Rajeswar to fix ‘date and time’ for administering the oath of the office to two Samajwadi Party candidates to fill the vacancies of a Cabinet and a state minister in his Government.
Yadav’s move is being seen as an open challenge to the Rashtriya Lok Dal and its supremo Chaudhary Ajit Singh, who is said to be hobnobbing with the Congress to get a berth in the Union Cabinet in return of his party’s withdrawal of support to the Yadav Ministry. According to sources, Yadav is said to be fully aware that Ajit Singh’s ‘deal’ with the Congress is in final stages and that the RLD can withdraw support to his Government any moment.
Yadav also knows that there is no immediate threat to his Government, even if the RLD withdrew support. The two slots had fallen vacant following resignation of RJD ministers—Mairajuddin Ahmad, Irrigation Minister, and Ganga Prasad Pushkar, Minister of State for REC (independent charge) – after their failure to get elected to any of the two houses of the state legislature within six months of their appointment. The government had earlier sought to fill these vacancies by appointing two RLD leaders only. The move, however, did not materialize as the governor refused to give time for their swearing in.
Highly placed sources told the Hindustan Times that the governor gave a patient hearing to the chief minister but expressed his inability to spare time for the swearing in as he was leaving for Delhi tomorrow. The Chief Minister also did not give names of the probable ministers of his party either.
Rajeswar had earlier refused to administer oath to two nominees of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, who were to replace Mairajuddin Ahmad and Ganga Prasad Pushkar, on the plea that repeated induction of those who were not members of any of the two Houses was against the basic spirit of the Constitution.
He had also cited that as assembly election was set to be held next year and since there was no by-election due in either of the two Houses, there was no point behind the whole exercise.
Rajeswar’s decision was then sharply criticised by both Yadav and Ajit Singh, who said the governor was duty bound to administer oath on the recommendation of the chief minister or the Cabinet.