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CM writes to EC for early poll

CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav has requested the Election Commission to hold the Vidhan Sabha election by February 2007. In a letter in this regard to the EC, the CM has said that as the 14th Vidhan Sabha was constituted on February 26, 2002, the poll process should be completed before the five-year period.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2006 10:57 IST

CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav has requested the Election Commission to hold the Vidhan Sabha election by February 2007.

In a letter in this regard to the EC, the CM has said that as the 14th Vidhan Sabha was constituted on February 26, 2002, the poll process should be completed before the five-year period.

According to a senior government officer, who confirmed that the letter has been delivered to the Election Commission, the CM was not in favour of stretching the term of the Vidhan Sabha up to May 14, 2007 by calculating the five-year term from the date of the first sitting of the House.

He said now it was for the EC to take a decision on poll dates. “The CM has just put forward his suggestion hoping that the EC would consider his view while taking a decision on the issue,” the official said.

There are indications that the EC may want to hold the poll at least in three to four if not seven phases. Under such a situation, the EC will obviously like to take all the aspects into consideration and tread cautiously before taking a final decision on the poll dates. Much will, however, depend on whether the EC decides to hold polls in UP along with the elections in Punjab, Uttaranchal and Manipur or favours a separate programme for it. Significantly, while deciding the poll dates, the EC has before it a number of other factors — the forthcoming High School and Intermediate examinations and the Ardh Kumbha-2007. 

The UP  Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad has already announced the dates for High School and Inter examinations beginning on March 17, 2007. As the examinations would end only by the third week of April 2007, the EC would be left with a little time to complete the poll process.

Moreover, campaigning during the intervening period may cause a lot of problems to the students. The EC would have to, therefore, give a serious thought to the CM’s suggestion.

The EC will also have to look into the dates of the main bathing days during the Ardh Kumbh-2007, spread from January to February 2007. Since a large number of pilgrims gather for the Ardh Kumbh, the State Government is likely to find it difficult to divert the security forces from Ardh Kumbh to poll duty.

However, a senior police officer involved in deployment of forces told Hindustan Times on Thursday that pilgrims’ pressure would be over after Basant Panchami bath on January 23. Apart from daily inflow of pilgrims at Allahabad during Kumbh, five Shahi Nahans (royal baths) will be held on Makar Sankranti (January 14), Mauni Amawasya (January 19), Basant Panchami (January 23), Magh Purnima (February 2) and Mahashivratir (February 16). The officer said after Makar Sankranti bath, the pressure would largely ease out on security forces and after Basant Panchami, the situation would start becoming normal.

On Wednesday, the CM had asserted that his government would favour an early election and that he had always remained opposed to stretching term of the Vidhan Sabha beyond five years. His assertion had created a flutter in the corridors of power with major political parties calling his statement a panic reaction in the backdrop of Samajwadi Party’s performance in the recently concluded urban local bodies elections. In Delhi, SP general secretary Amar Singh reacted sharply to a query on Governor T V Rajeshewar Rao making any move to dismiss the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, saying,  “The Governor can do anything.”

Meanwhile, the Centre on Thursday said it had received a report from the Governor. “We have received the monthly report from the Governor,” Home Secretary V K Duggal said. Asked whether the Governor had recommended dismissal of the State Government on the basis of breakdown of the law and order machinery, he said, “We are yet to examine the report.”  umeshraghuvanshi@hindustantimes.com