CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav today summoned the cabinet ministers belonging to the Samajwadi Party to discuss issues ranging from local bodies elections to gradual distancing of the Rashtriya Lok Dal from the SP led government.
Yadav elicited their views on the local bodies polls. As most of the ministers were not in favour of holding the local bodies polls, Yadav informed them about the State Government’s compulsions on the issue in the backdrop of a recent order of the Allahabad High Court.
Yadav, however, also asked the ministers, who were were called for the meeting at a short notice, to devote more time in their respective constituencies and get ready for the Vidhan Sabha polls as well. This has led to speculations that the chief minister (though he gave nothing on this count) may be weighing options of holding Vidhan Sabha poll earlier than expected.
Also, much significance is being attached to Yadav’s move to summon the ministers as it comes in the midst of the ongoing Monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha. Sources said, Yadav may opt to seek a confidence vote in the Vidhan Sabha yet again to reassert his numerical majority, with or without the RLD.
Yadav, according to sources, also discussed the SP’s strategy to be adopted during the Vidhan Sabha session. He also asked ministers to remain present in the Vidhan Sabha.
Most of the ministers reached the chief minister’s residence much before the scheduled time of 5 pm and the meeting lasted nearly 77 minutes. About 15 ministers attended the meeting. A large number of mediapersons had assembled outside the CM’s residence by this time. The ministers, however, refused to talk to them. Most of them also switched off their mobile phones.
Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Raghuraj Pratap Singh, an independent MLA, was the only other minister present who was not from the SP camp.
Other major issues discussed included the third supplementary grants that the State Government proposed to present in the Vidhan Sabha to fund announcements made by the chief minister in the recent days.