The Mulayam Singh Yadav government and Governor T.V. Rajeswar seem headed for a showdown over the summoning of a state assembly session on January 15. With the government sticking to its stand of calling a special session of the House, which has already been prorogued by the governor, it seems the two will not be able to avoid a collision.
The cabinet had late on Tuesday night sent its recommendation to call a special session of the House to the governor, cancelling its January 3 decision to prorogue the earlier session of the House. But the governor — who had signed the prorogation letter on January 9 — sent it to the government on Wednesday.
Following the governor’s move, the chief minister sought legal opinion to wriggle out of the crisis. Normally, summoning of a fresh session of the House takes 15 days. Later, the cabinet met at an emergency sitting to reiterate its decision of Tuesday night of calling a special session. Parliamentary Minister Mohd Azam Khan told reporters after the meeting that the session would be held on January 15, when the government would seek a vote of trust.
Mulayam wants an early session to seek a fresh vote of trust to ward off any threat to his government following the resignation of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ministers. So, instead of calling a fresh session with the governor’s address to the joint session of the Vidhan Mandal, the prorogue proposal was cancelled and Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey was requested, on Tuesday night, to issue notice of session in continuation of the December session. However, Governor Rajeswar, instead of taking cognizance of the cabinet decision, approved the January 3 prorogation proposal.
Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lalji Tandon said the summoning of the special session was illegal. He said that once the cabinet had sent its recommendation for prorogation of the House to Raj Bhawan and the governor had approved it, the Speaker’s decision to call the session in continuation was unconstitutional.
Pandey justified his decision on the ground that he had adjourned the House on December 15, and he has the power to summon another session as the House has not been prorogued. Reacting to the government decision, UPCC spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said Mulayam was trying to mislead the people by calling a special session. He said the government had already lost the people’s trust.