IRRIGATION MINISTER Dr Merajuddin Ahmad of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) today bowed out of office. He has sent his resignation to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Dr Ahmad was inducted into the ministry on March 5, 2006 after Munna Singh Chauhan’s resignation.
Speculations were rife in political circles that Dr Ahmad would be re-inducted into the Cabinet. However, this possibility appeared to be far-fetched. Even though there is no constitutional ban on re-induction into the ministry it is certainly against the spirit of the Constitution, which envisages upper limit of six months in the ministry for a person without being a member of the House.
Dr Ahmad was not the only one to be taken into the ministry without being a member of the either House of the Vidhan Mandal. But he is certainly the first one to leave the office because of his failure to become a member of the House within stipulated period of six months. There were ministers including VP Singh as chief minister who were elected to the lower House within six months and continued in the ministry. However, Dr Ahmad had an unceremonious departure.
The RLD leader Anuradha Chaudhury continued as irrigation minister for six months after winning the Lok Sabha election in 2004. She had then paved the way for Chauhan. But soon the chief minister appointed her as chairperson, irrigation development and flood control commission with Cabinet rank. In fact, she was calling the shots in the irrigation department, and not the ministers.
The two successive ministers from the RLD quota just played second fiddle to her.
Now if RLD president Ajit Singh decides to continue participation in the State Government, Tara Chand Saini of Muzaffarnagar, who has emerged as frontrunner, may succeed Dr Ahmad, whose fate was sealed the day Ajit Singh denied him nomination to the Vidhan Parishad.
Earlier, sidetracking the claims of elected members, political compulsion of playing the minority card had forced Ajit Singh to pick up Dr Ahmad for the ministerial berth.