IF CHIEF Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav were asked to make a wish he would probably ask for some more time before the Election Commission announced its programme to hold the Vidhan Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The chief minister has though time and again insisted that the Samajwadi Party was fully prepared for Vidhan Sabha elections he has little time left to implement all his major announcements before the state went into poll mode. As the EC is likely to announce the poll programme anytime in December 2006 the fate of some of the Chief Minister’s ambitious projects may hang in balance in view of the model code of conduct that comes into force soon after EC’s announcement.
The chief minister who wants to complete his poll agenda would like to have some more time to do so. Although the term of the Vidhan Sabha would end only on May 14, 2007 the EC may go for elections anytime after January 3, 2007 when the final electoral rolls would be published, said a senior officer adding that the election programme may, however, be announced anytime in December 2006 only.
Significantly, recent developments on the political horizon have only compounded his problems. Take the case of his announcement to distribute two ‘sarees’ each to nearly 2.5 cr poor women. The distribution of ‘sarees’ remains among the most ambitious projects of the chief minister. As a foolproof process is being followed to buy and scan ‘sarees’ the distribution of ‘sarees’ may not be completed before the EC’s announcement.
The State Election Commission’s decision to suspend distribution of unemployment allowance and the Kanya Vidya Dhan has become a major cause for concern to the chief minister. Although his programmes have been rescheduled after November 3, 2006 the SEC’s decision has only upset the chief minister’s applecart. As the chief minister has made many announcements without the budgetary provisions the State Government faces a piquant situation. The State Government has already got two supplementary demands of grants for Rs 1,629.51 cr and Rs 2,882.70 cr respectively passed in the first five months of current financial year. The State Government would have to table the third supplementary demands of grants now in the Vidhan Sabha to provide funds for the CM’s projects in view of its reservations against drawing such sums from State Contingency Fund.
There are already indications that the chief minister has asked his close confidants to expedite implementation of his announcements and complete the process by the end of this month. A senior officer of the chief minister’s secretariat, however, said no such directives have been issued. “Chief minister’s announcements are expeditiously implemented. No specific date, however, has been fixed,” said the officer.
Besides this the chief minister would also like to have some more time to nullify the impact of losses or capitalise on the gains that his party may have in elections to urban local bodies. The chief minister also proposes to carry out major reshuffle in the state bureaucracy and the police department. He would obviously like to link the reshuffle to the promotions of the IAS, IPS, PCS and PPS officers. Already the meetings of some of the Departmental Promotion Committees (DPCs) have been fixed for next month.