AS THE face-off between Governor TV Rajeswar and Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav over induction of two Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) nominees in the Samajwadi Party-RLD ministry is turning into an unending conflict between the letter and spirit of the Constitution, the RLD is weighing various options to find an end to the impasse.
The RLD, however, may consider changing names to enable the Chief Minister to send a fresh recommendation under Article 164 (1) of the Constitution for induction of the RLD nominees in the ministry. Will the RLD seek legal recourse? This is the million dollar question going round the corridors of power here. A final decision would be taken once the governor returned from New Delhi on Sunday, an RLD leader said.
Another RLD leader said that Ajit Singh would be in Lucknow on October 8 to attend Roza Iftar. The RLD chief may hold discussions with senior party bosses on the issue, he said, adding that the governor was unlikely to relent and the chief minister had already asked Ajit Singh to meet the governor to convince him on the issue. Singh had shown his reluctance to meet the governor, he added.
Significantly, the governor has reiterated his objections in his last letter sent to the chief minister. Observers are waiting for the State government’s response to Raj Bhawan’s missive. By refusing to hold the swearing in ceremony to induct non-legislators in the ministry, the governor has brought into focus what is being termed as the RLD’s ‘misuse’ of Article 164 (4) of the Constitution, say senior officers of the State government, while pointing out that the Raj Bhawan may be relying on the spirit of the Constitution while the chief minister has demanded that the governor should implement the letter of the Constitution.
Article 164 (4) of the Constitution clearly provides that any non-legislator inducted in the ministry would cease to be a minister if he failed to get elected to either of the two Houses of the State Legislature within six months.
Chief Secretary Naveen Chandra Bajpai and Advocate General SMA Qazmi too had tried to convince the governor when they met him at the Raj Bhawan early this week. The AG is said to have quoted the Supreme Court ruling of 2005 in the Sangeeta Singh versus State of UP case that clearly provided that the Statute was to be interpreted and read as per the letters written therein. The Representation of the People Act (RPA) or any other law could not be given more weight over the provisions of the Constitution, said a senior officer, adding that the differences between the governor and the CM over the issue reflected the conflict between the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.