The Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has requested the Election Commission to hold the elections to the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha by February 2007.
Chief Minister has sent a letter in this regard to EC. The CM in his letter to EC has said that Vidhan Sabha would complete its five-year term on February 26, 2007. As the 14th Vidhan Sabha was constituted on February 26, 2002 the poll process should be completed before the five-year period, said the Chief Minister.
A senior officer of the State Government confirmed here that the Chief Minister’s letter has been delivered to the Election Commission. The CM was not in favour of stretching the term of Vidhan Sabha up to May 14, 2007 by calculating the five year term from the dates of first sitting of the House, he said adding that now it was for EC to take a decision on poll dates. Chief Minister has just put forward his suggestion hoping that the EC would consider his view while taking a decision on the issue, he said. The Chief Minister also confirmed that he had sent the letter to EC at Varanasi today, he added.
Significantly the EC now faces a cumbersome task while deciding the poll dates in view of the forthcoming High School and Intermediate examinations and the Ardh Kumbha-2007. The Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad has already announced the dates for High School and Intermediate examinations that would commence on March 17, 2007. As the examinations would end only by third week of April 2007 the EC would be left with a little time to complete the poll process. Moreover the campaigning during the intervening period may cause problems to students. The EC would have to therefore give a serious thought to the CM’s suggestion. The EC would also have to look into the dates of the main bathing days at the Ardh Kumbh-2007 that would be spread from January to February 2007. A large number of pilgrims gather at Allahabad for the Ardh Kumbh. The State Government would find it difficult to divert the security forces from Ardh Kumbh to poll.
There are indications that the EC proposes to hold UP poll at least in three to four if not seven phases. Under such a situation the EC would obviously like to take all the aspects into consideration and tread cautiously before taking a final decision on the poll dates. Much would however depend on whether the EC would like to hold the UP’s poll along with the elections of Punjab, Uttaranchal and Manipur assemblies or would favour a separate poll programme for Utar Pradesh.
Earlier the Chief Minister had on Wednesday asserted that his government would favour an early election and that he had always remained opposed to stretching term of Vidhan Sabha beyond five years. His assertion had created a flutter in corridors of power with major political parties calling his statement a panic reaction in the backdrop of Samajwadi Party’s performance in recently concluded urban local bodies elections. CM obviously favours simultaneous election to assemblies of four states to ensure that Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) remain equally distributed among four states and only UP did not remain in focus.