In what appears to be an apparent move to preempt any possible withdrawal of support by Rashtriya Lok Dal the ruling Samajwadi Party enacted a 'political drama' taking 21 MLAs to Raj Bhawan to convince the Governor TV Rajeswar that Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav would continue to enjoy a comfortable majority in Vidhan Sabha.
Those who went to Raj Bhawan include 12 MLAs from BJP, two from BSP, one from Congress and six independents, said the Minister for Transport Naresh Agarwal and Minister for Revenue Ambika Chadhary while talking to mediapersons after meeting the Governor.
"All the 21 MLAs have decided to support the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in the House," said Agarwal and Chaudhary.
Incidentally all MLAs who went to Raj Bhawan have already been disassociated from their respective political parties in one way or the other. While five of the 12 BJP MLAs have been already unattached from the party in Vidhan Sabha the remaining seven had publicly joined the Samajwadi Party recently.
The BSP had also expelled the two MLAs before their joined the SP. The Congress too had expelled its MLA from the party for cross voting in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha elections. The independents too have been extending their support to the Samajwadi Party.
Although the ruling coalition claimed that all the 21 MLAs went to Raj Bhawan sources said only 19 of them were presented before the Governor. "The MLAs have switched over their loyalties in view of the good work the Samajwadi Party led coalition government has been doing to make UP Uttam Pradesh," said Agarwal.
Significantly the move to parade the MLAs before the Governor is in sharp contrast to Samajwadi Party's declared stand that Raj Bhawan should be no place for the trial of strength and the majority of the government should be tested on the floor of the House.
In an obvious bid to counter any moves of the dismissal of Mulayam government the ruling coalition has prolonged the Monsoon session of Vidhan Sabha. The State Legislature has been in session since August 21, 2006 although there have been only few sittings of the two Houses.
Moreover the move also assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of Rashtriya Lok Dal Chief Ajit Singh who met the Governor on Thursday evening.
There are reports that the RLD was in close touch with the Congress discussing the issue of sharing of seats in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections. Asked if the move was linked to Ajit Singh's meeting the Governor, Agarwal said the RLD chief had already clarified that his party continued to support the Mulayam government. "This will help in dispelling the impression that the Mulayam government is in minority," said Agarwal.
On the other hand Chaudhary said the Governor was the constitutional head and hence it was the responsibility of the ruling coalition to inform him of the decision of the 21 MLAs. Chaudhary dared the Opposition to move a no confidence motion against the Mulayam government.
Besides being a preemptive exercise against the possible RLD withdrawal of support the move is also being considered yet another attempt of Mulayam government to give a message that the support base of Samajwadi Party was not shrinking.
There are apprehensions that moves may be initiated to dismiss the Mulayam government once RLD decided to withdraw support.
Email Umesh Raghuvanshi email@example.com