Taking a strong exception to observations that Governor TV Rajeswar made at the police parade the Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday gave a point-to-point rebuttal to all the charges and said the Governor should conduct himself in a free and fair manner if he expected others to be impartial.
"Those who expect others to be free and fair should also conduct themselves in an impartial manner," said chief minister adding that the Governor being a Constitutional functionary should uphold dignity and decorum attached to his post. The Governor's charges that he had received at least 1000 complaints about irregularities in urban local bodies elections the chief minister said the Governor should have checked veracity of the complaints.
"How many of these complaints were genuine," asked the chief minister. The Governor should not meddle with the affairs of the State Government, he said adding that he would also call on the Governor to request him to uphold democratic traditions and not take up such issues.
The chief minister also took a dig at the Governor for what he called targeting the Governor over issuing carbine licenses to those having criminal antecedents. "Governor should have known that the carbine licenses are issued by the Centre." This reflected that the Governor has not spared even the Centre, said the chief minister adding that the Governor may not be speaking on his own.
"Someone may be provoking the Governor to speak in such a manner," he said. "No one should misguide the Governor," he said while referring to various incidents of crime during the Congress rule.
Before leveling such charges the Governor should also have found out that how many of these licenses were issued during the tenure of Congress led governments. The Governor should not have leveled such baseless allegations against the State Government.
The chief minister flayed the Congress for what he said joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party and said the BJP and the BSP were toeing the Congress' line and speaking the Congress' language to attack the Samajwadi Party led government. The chief minister also indirectly targeted the former Prime Minister VP Singh whose Jan Morcha has been spearheading a campaign against his government.
Referring to the Governor's observations about the law and order situation the chief minister said a sitting judge of the Supreme Court be asked to conduct an inquiry into the law and order situation in Mumbai, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. "I will not contest the election if Uttar Pradesh's law and order situation was found to be worse," said the chief minister adding that the situation was very serious in Maharashtra in view of what he called the ongoing caste conflicts there.
About Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami's visit the chief minister said he had already requested the Election Commission to hold the UP assembly poll by February 2007. The chief minister said he hoped that the EC would uphold the tradition of acceding to the request of the State Government while deciding the poll dates.
"This has been a tradition. The Election Commission holds the poll on the dates suggested by the State Government," said the chief minister adding that the EC had advanced the West Bengal poll earlier on the request of the then State Government.
The chief minister reacted sharply to the demand of imposition of President's rule and said why elections in Gujarat were not held under President's rule even after the carnage. Why the President's rule was not imposed in Maharashtra after the Mumbai riots, asked the chief minister.
Email Umesh Raghuvanshi: firstname.lastname@example.org