The Mulayam Singh Yadav government and the Governor TV Rajeswar were on Wednesday headed for a showdown over the summoning of the state assembly session on January 15.
At an emergency meeting in Lucknow on Wednesday the state cabinet once again ratified its Tuesday night decision to go ahead with the plan to hold a special session on January 15.
The Parliamentary Minister Mohd Azam Khan told newsmen after the meeting that the session would be held on January 15. He said the government had decided the agenda of the session also. The government has planned to seek a vote of trust.
The cabinet late on Tuesday night had sent its recommendation to the governor canceling its January 3 decision to prorogue the earlier session of the House.
However, the governor signed the prorogation letter on January 9 and sent it to the government on Wednesday. With the governor's move the state government had landed in a difficult situation and legal opinion was sought to wriggle out of the crisis. Summoning of the fresh session of the House normally takes 15 days.
The Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav wanted an early session to seek fresh trust of vote to ward off any threat to the government following resignation of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ministers from the coalition government. Thus instead of calling a fresh session with the governor's address to the joint session of Vidhan Mandal, the prorogue proposal was cancelled and the Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey was requested on Tuesday night to issue a notice of session in continuation of the December session. However, the governor instead of taking cognizance of the cabinet decision, approved January 3 for prorogation proposal.
This has indeed created a ticklish situation for the government. The Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal taking on the governor said the session would be held on January 15. He said the cancellation letter of the cabinet had reached Raj Bhawan on Tuesday night and the governor had signed the prorogue letter with "back-date" and sent it on Wednesday. Azam Khan also said that the cabinet letter was delivered to the Raj Bhawan before the governor's signature on prorogation letter.
Agarwal said "Raj Bhawan se sarkar nahin chalne denge" (we will not allow Raj Bhawan to run the government). He said the government would seek a vote of trust on the floor of the House. Agarwal said the Speaker was within his right to summon the House in continuation of the December session. However, leader of teachers' group in Vidhan Parishad Om Prakash Sharma told Hindustan Times that "the session cannot be called in continuation as the cabinet had already prorogued it". He said since New Year had commenced the government was constitutionally bound to summon the first sitting of the House with the governor's address. He said it should normally take 15 days and even in emergency at least 10 days would be required to complete the summoning process.
The Samajwadi Party General Secretary Beni Prasad Verma said that the governor should either withdraw his signature or allow early commencement of the session. He said the government had been legally examining the governor's move. But he attacked the governor for working against constitutional norms. Verma accused the governor of "politicking" at the behest of Congress. He said the governor should not have signed the prorogue proposal when the cabinet had cancelled it and the Raj Bhawan was duly informed late on Tuesday night.
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